Burke Files, FEE INC, in his most recent column, discusses the rapid evolution of the International Due Diligence Association and its importance to due diligence professionals.
The International Due Diligence Association (IDDA) was founded to provide continuing education, establish professional standards, and provide a forum for professionals to follow the rapidly evolving discipline of due diligence. ADDP is the first professional association to recognise due diligence as a unique and separate field, discipline, and industry. They provide the opportunity to earn the equivalent of your PhD in due diligence so one can avoid all of those with a MS in BS.
As odd as this may sound, the IDDA will, in time, fill the same role for the due
diligence professional, that the Association of Certified Anti Money Launderers (ACAMS) has done for money laundering and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) has done for fraud investigations and recovery.
The IDDA, in its early incarnation, was driven by a recognition of the need for an independent organisation to proactively educate and assist with the understanding of due diligence to aid management make informed choices and lower risk by using an earlier version of the discipline, originally termed ‘management of due diligence’. The IDDA was formally launched in 2009 and is the culmination of 27 years of pioneering efforts of Charles Bacon to establish the formal discipline of due diligence, adapted to an increasingly complex world. Based on formal methodology perfected from extensive research, and tested in the real world, the guiding principles of the IDDA are pragmatic, practical, and predictable.
With a history dating back to 1984, the IDDA brings the qualities of traditional due diligence together with a vibrant and contemporary understanding of the issues decision makers face.
Due diligence is simply the process of pairing representations with facts and separating truth from fiction – one would think. Yet look at all of the due diligence failures around us. Billions vanished, Madoff in prison and now banks, accounting firms, and regulators are being sued to make the investors whole. Where were these ‘professionals’ when it mattered – really, where? Look at a former CEO of Yahoo who had his college degree wrong and how TD Bank failed in their assessment of Rothstein, then TD Bank appears to have tried to cover up the due diligence errors. All claimed to have done ‘due diligence’ yet look at the gaping, jaw dropping, failures of their methods. The point I am trying to make here is that they may have been good accountants, bankers, lawyers and regulators, but they lacked the training in due diligence to actually know what questions had to be asked… You see they got good answers to the questions asked, these skilled accountants, bankers, lawyers and regulators just did not know the correct questions to ask.
Modern due diligence is a structured, systematic, consistent, and efficient methodology of gathering information to assist in risk assessment and decision management. In assessing the methodologies employed, the ‘Due Diligence Standards’ from IDDA are used to assign precise, optimum, and practical procedural ratings to the overall process. It really is a science – so as to insure the right questions are asked and the answers assessed.
The IDDA has certification programs, bringing the due diligence discipline into the 21st century, to elevate the professionals ability to deliver choice support that is much stronger, dependable, defensible, and with the ‘Due Diligence Index’ it is possible to rate (score) every part, every function of every organisation and thus make it quantifiable.
The IDDA has the infrastructure to support and continuously improve the discipline and the IDDA’s Science of Due Diligence™. Local or global, the IDDA is providing education, setting standards, certifying professionals, being an advocate, developing tools and research for the profession of due diligence.
Membership reflects a wide range of due diligence demands in firms ranging from large publicly traded companies to small consultancies. IDDA members can access these private resources to augment the Due Diligence services they provide.
It about time for the IDDA and what it represents.
 Membership and Training Information can be found at http://www.internationalduediligenceassociation.org
L. Burke Files DDP CACM, President, Financial Examinations & Evaluations, Inc
Mr. Files is President of Financial Examinations & Evaluations, Inc. He is an international financial investigator and due diligence expert who has run cases in over 130 countries and has visited over 100 countries. Mr. Files has tackled investigations running from a few hundred thousands dollars to over 20 billion. Along the way he became familiar with the knowledge of what people need to do, for due diligence, preventing corruption, and to avoid helping criminals launder money. He brings this experience of hands on investigating and problem solving experience to his lectures on Due Diligence, AML, and Anti-Corruption. Prior to founding FE&E, Inc. he served as the Director of Corporate Finance for American National an investment bank focused on development stage venture capital. He was also employed by Oppenheimer/Rouse as a commodities specialist trading customer accounts in Agri-Business and 24-hour gold, silver, and foreign currency trading. Mr. Files has authored six books, and many white papers and articles. He has been quoted in major publications including The Guardian, The Financial Times, Forbes, US Newsweek and more. He is the author of the award wining book Due Diligence For The Financial Professional 2nd Edition. Mr. Files serves on the board of directors for several private companies, funds, and non-profits. Mr. Files is active in several civic organizations. In the past Mr. Files has served as a member of the Arizona Governor’s Board on Solid Waste Management, as an advisor to the Governor’s Board on Economic Planning and Development. Mr. Files has also received a Commission and a Medal of Merit from the President of the United States.