A master service deal sets the response tone
By Grant Cameron
SAY YOU’RE A CONTROLLER
at a company and late one evening you
discover that something in the books just
doesn’t add up. The entries are a bit odd.
Salaries are higher than they’re supposed
to be. In fact, there are a few names that
don’t sound familiar. It looks like some-
body’s been cooking the books.
You know it’s important to act quickly.
But what do you do? How do you figure
out if your hunch is right? Who do you
turn to for help?
If your company has a master service
agreement (MSA) in place with a repu-
table forensic services firm, you can act
quickly when fraud strikes or is suspected.
Instead of trying to connect the dots
yourself in a time of crisis, you can turn
all the information over to experts who
already have a good handle on the ins and
outs of your business.
“With a master service agreement in
place we can address their needs much
more quickly,” explains Steven Hender-
son, national forensic services leader at
PwC in Toronto. “You can get boots on
the ground the next day as most of the
terms and conditions have already been
“When you have the lay of the land
and you know the company as a result of
a master service agreement, you can have
the necessary resources and expertise
ready to go much faster.”
Most often, Henderson says, forensic
investigators get a call when there’s a cri-
sis and have to urgently deploy resources
to stop more destruction. Having an
MSA in place that spells out the general
rates, services and responsibilities of both
parties makes the job easier.
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