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Using technology to dig deep and detect misconduct

Md Tanvir Kabir – Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University
Timothy Wang – Mount Gravatt State High School
Sabastian Lee – Mount Gravatt State High School

Greg Kaukov is an avid science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) enthusiast who finds joy in solving mathematical problems even on weekends. Currently, he serves as a Senior Manager at Ernst and Young (EY), a renowned consulting firm specialising in forensic and integrity services, stating that “I like EY because we’re trying to make things better and stop problematic behaviour.” With over eight years of industry experience, Greg discovered his role is a perfect match for his university degrees in mathematics and graphics design, fulfilling both his interests and needs. Dealing with issues of bribery, theft, fraud, and corruption within companies, he encounters a diverse range of challenges that require extensive problem-solving skills.

Greg and his team use a combination of computer forensics, cyber analytics, and data mining to search for evidence of misconduct in peoples’ phones, computers, and USBs. For example, Greg’s team completed a compliance monitoring task on a particular individual that unexpectedly found a ‘fictional receipt’, a suspicious transaction regarding the mismanagement of company funds which needed further and deeper investigation.

Greg also helps companies develop a workforce of integrity, morality, and sincerity. A central focus of his work is to help companies better utilise their resources by developing, modifying, and maintaining a code of conduct for company reformation that builds upon employee integrity. Collectively, these measures assist companies to maximise their output with efficient use of resources and they have social impacts for employees.

Greg continues to face new and intriguing problems, driving his passion for learning and growth. His dedication to uncover the truth and provide effective solutions contributes to ‘building a better working world’, which is the slogan of EY, leaving a lasting impact on clients from various fields. To resolve and address clients’ issues, Greg first seeks evidence-based information using forensics techniques to support the initial hypothesis presented by the client. After analysing the data, he validates the hypothesis and proceeds to provide the client with a well-founded solution or essential information about the problem at hand. Understanding the root cause of the issue is crucial to prevent its recurrence or escalation, which can have immense negative impacts on an organisation’s productivity.

Despite not having deep expertise in all investigated fields, Greg embraces challenges and adversities and has learned resilience, acquired new knowledge, and forged valuable connections with clients from diverse industries. These skills have strengthened his ability to provide effective solutions to clients in their unique situations. Interestingly, clients’ feedback echoes EY’s motto. They acknowledge Greg’s significant contributions in finding solutions to workplace problems. His dedication to resolve complex issues aligns perfectly with EY’s mission, leaving a positive impact on clients and contributing to a more secure and ethical business environment.

“In high-pressure working environments, it is easy to be overwhelmed. It’s easy to always focus on the negative whilst disregarding the positive. In tense situations, it’s good to think about what you learned from negative outcomes and make your best guess,” said Greg.

Reframing situations to turn a negative outcome into a positive is a motivating factor around Greg’s enthusiasm towards helping to build equitable working environments. Also, finding your own motivation to investigate problems can shine a light on what seems like a dull and boring task, “for me, it’s adding value and I am fortunate to work with so many different people from so many different industries.”  The hardest part of his work involves his cognitive plasticity, prompt adaptability and the ability to not freeze up during pressing matters. Therefore, he breaks down complex situations into manageable tasks when adapting to new and unique contexts, just one of his many strategies.

Overall, Greg’s inquisitive and passionate vision is indicative of his eagerness to help build out a culture of integrity and morality within workplaces. Providing evidence-based conclusions for clients and practicing fairness is at the core of his work. His focus will likely have continuous sustained positive social and economic impacts including minimised losses, avoidance of legal problems, reduced level of exploitation risk, and improved brand reputation and authority. Greg constantly looks forward to his interactions with clients, building relations, unique working cultures and project opportunities. Finally, Greg remarked, “think literally around what you can do with STEM. Work on your critical thinking skills and look at the bigger picture. How do you frame a problem to reach a conclusion?”

Judges’ Feedback

“Well done making the article personable.”

“I liked how you used a number of quotes from Greg to help humanize the story.”