At the forefront of current affairs with EY FIDS
EY Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services (FIDS) help clients communicate with integrity and transparency. We have a team of 4,500 professionals worldwide working with legal advisors who guide our clients through disputes.
We spoke to Deepti Khurana, Manager, and Henrietta Crichton, Senior Manager, Disputes Services, from our London office about their experience in tackling global issues and what inspired them to join the team.
Why did you join FIDS?
Henrietta: I started in audit, but was interested in forensics and the emphasis it put on critical thinking. I was also excited by the variety of work I’d have across both disputes and investigations.
Deepti: Similarly, I began my career at EY India working in audit. I was there for a year and half before moving to EY Australia in Sydney, where I completed a master’s in Forensic Accounting. Being really interested in the industry, I jumped at the chance to join the FIDS team in London!
How has EY supported you throughout your career?
Henrietta: I’ve had a few mentors who’ve guided me and opened doors to new opportunities throughout my career. More formally, I participated in initiatives like the EY Edge which developed my career and prepared me for management roles.
Deepti: My team was very supportive in both moves from India to Australia and then to the UK. I remember one of my managers assured me that no matter where you go, once you’re an EY colleague, you’re welcome in any office worldwide. I definitely felt this with my team in London, and was set up with a mentor who introduced me to the office and helped me get settled.
What do you do on the team?
Henrietta: I write expert witness reports that deal with accountancy and financial matters. To put it simply, we take complex financial and accounting issues and communicate them in a way that a judge or tribunal will understand. Most of my clients are global, so I work on a lot of international disputes. We tend to work for big corporations who inevitably have large cases, but equally I’ve worked on smaller business disputes.
Deepti: I work on the FIDS dispute team as well, but with a focus on Transaction Forensics, and Sale and Purchase Agreement Advisory in particular. We work with legal advisors and the financial due diligence team to help our clients secure and drive value through transactions, as well as advising on pricing mechanisms and price adjustment negotiations. I’ve consulted for a diverse range of clients, from private equity to real estate. Recently, I worked on an £11bn acquisition, which was an amazing experience. It’s incredible when the project you’re working on gets announced in the Financial Times.
How is your industry changing?
Henrietta: I’m excited by the way technology is shaping our industry. We’re always looking for ways to improve our work with new tech. As the world uses more technology like blockchain, the nature of the evidence we work with in the disputes team will change, which will be interesting to navigate.
Deepti: Our industry flew under the radar until recently, so we’re becoming a more popular service. Now more than ever, clients want to involve our expertise in their business, which means we’re in demand and doing interesting, complex work.
How do you stay on top of technological changes?
Henrietta: FIDS benefits from having an internal tech team working alongside us, but there are firm-wide initiatives aimed at using technology in everything we do. They’re responsible for improving existing processes and developing new products for our clients.
Is there anything that surprised you about EY?
Henrietta: The breadth of what we do, from traditional services to technology, can surprise people who might think we’re only focused on one aspect of business. We’re a very forward-looking firm and take a proactive, creative approach to problem solving.
Deepti: I think the difference between EY and other firms is how connected our global offices are. We act as one team and work together across countries to get things done. When I’m on a project with international offices it feels like we’re working out of the same place.
Why is FIDS an exciting place to be right now?
Henrietta: We’re at the forefront of what’s happening in the world, so issues like cybercrime and GDPR impact what we offer our clients. It’s great knowing that every interesting thing happening in the business world has some sort of FIDS element for us to get involved in.
Deepti: It’s an exciting team for many reasons – the talented people you work with and the breadth of work we do across the lifecycle of a transaction including SPA advisory, financial crime due diligence, post-deal investigations, disputes services and more. And most importantly, the variety of learning opportunities presented to you.
How would you describe the people and the culture at EY?
Henrietta: One of the big things for me is the level of integrity everyone has. Our commitment to building a better working world is impressive and everyone takes their role very seriously. It’s a supportive culture, everyone is driven and focused and the energy of the team is infectious!
Deepti: We’re a small team of 20, so there’s a lot of camaraderie and knowledge-sharing. Everyone is available and contactable no matter their seniority. Being from another country, I particularly appreciate the diversity of our London office.
Do you take advantage of flexible working opportunities?
Henrietta: There’s a lot of scope for working flexibly here. I have a young daughter so I have to do nursery runs and my team is very supportive. Our internal culture supports people’s priorities out of work.
Deepti: There’s a strong, flexible working culture and, while I don’t usually work from home, my team members always support one another and empowers anyone who needs to do so.