The first essential bit of advice to anyone hired to Troubleshoot a business is to know who the workers are before doing anything. To be coarse, there are managers/owners who appoint their lovers to some post.
To complain about that person is not in your interest.
You must ascertain if there are any particular employees who have some kind of ‘pass’ from the Owner/Manager before you proceed.
To be pointed; If the Owner is X and the Manager is Y and Koko is the Manager’s gal, then you can, very delicately, learn if X knows about Y and Koko.
There are many ways you can do it.
For example, if Koko is ‘in charge’ of Division 4 you can say to the Owner, “Well, I’ll leave out Division 4.”
If the owner asks Why, you can say, a bit embarrassedly, “Well, you know, her relationship with Y.”
If he says, “Oh, okay…” Move on.
If he expresses ignorance, act as if you let the cat out of the bag. Say, “Oh, I thought you knew about their relationship.”
In just as many cases as the Owner does know, s/he doesn’t. Tread softly, because there is no sense in putting together an in depth report on Division 4 when Koko will not ever be fired.
Of course, leaving out Division 4 will make your report inaccurate, but so what? It is X’s business, X’s money.
Where X was unaware of Koko’s relationship with his manager; you may earn a bonus.
Finding out this secret information and how to use it, means you are a top ranking Troubleshooter.