If you own a business, you are responsible for a seemingly endless list of tasks and duties. It can be quite difficult to oversee every small detail of your business. Depending on the size of your company, you may have to delegate a lot of oversight to other employees.
Embezzlement is a serious problem many business owners face. When employees embezzle funds, they usually use telltale techniques an astute employer can pick up on if he or she is extra vigilant. By knowing some signs of employee embezzlement, you can protect your organization from this crime and take action in the unfortunate event it happens to you.
Do not overlook obvious discrepancies
Sometimes, embezzlement is not that well-disguised. If you find that money, orders or other company assets have gone missing, you need to investigate further rather than simply blow it off as a mistake or oversight. Another red flag can come in the form of customer complaints, such as claims of having already paid a bill that has come due a second time.
Once you notice signs of theft, the likelihood is high that it has already been going on for some time. Therefore, one important indication an employee is embezzling is the simple and obvious sign that resources have gone missing or you observe some sort of suspicious or inexplicable behavior.
A typical tactic employees who take money from their company use to mask their embezzlement is to tamper with the accuracy of the company’s financial records and other documentation. If you find that record-keeping is lax or haphazard, or if your accounting has taken a turn for the worse in terms of record organization, you should dig deeper.
While it can be impossible to keep tabs on every single company document, especially if your business is large, you should still have some backup systems in place to verify the accuracy of your company’s accounting records and other documentation. Make sure your accounting and financial recordkeeping is not the job of just one employee. With the involvement of more than one person, you have a system of checks and balances to ensure theft does not occur.