There are activities in every company that, if scrutinized by an adversary during hard times, have the ability to make management seem like it has been less than astute.
This is probably more sensitive in small cap companies than in privately/closely held organizations. In large cap companies, they don’t even amount to financial statement footnotes.
When management senses that difficulty could be on the horizon, it might be a worthwhile investment to do some introspective anomaly hunting. The opportunity to purge what you would be embarrassed to have an adversary use against you long before trouble actually became a present tense event is a blessing. Almost no one ever does this. The reasons are that no one ever thinks of doing it and that it can be politically sensitive.
Most folks go through their files and “clean them up.” They usually do this too late in the game, when it is clear that files disclosure is in the immediate offing. This can be catastrophic, as Arthur Anderson found out in the context of Enron.
Files cleansing is only part of the “let’s get ready to rumble” project. It has to start a lot earlier than it usually does if it is to be done lawfully. Think of it as something to be thought about when the first hair stands up on the back of your neck.
But files cleansing is just part of the project. Think of all the things that happen within the company’s regular activities that are not subject to accusation in good times, but that have the ability to make management look less than astute in leaner times.
Then think of all the people who know about these items who could become informants to/subpoenaed by an adversary were such an event to become real.
It sometimes helps to be a bit paranoid. There are areas of inquiry within the company that you probably won’t think of. You may wish to consider having your own phantom adversary strategize for you how such an assault might play out, and assist you to prepare for it when the preparation itself won’t become part of the accusatory litany.
If you have done this once, you probably will want to make it a periodic re-check just so that you are aware of weaknesses in your armor at an earlier stage.