The holiday season should be spent enjoying some time off with loved ones, not trying to find where your company’s money went. If you agree, than you need to educate yourself on employee fraud and what to look for in order to make sure that no one is sneaking away from some (or a lot) or your hard-earned money.
What is employee theft?
Employee theft is another word for embezzlement, which most of us know from watching too many episodes of your favorite crime show. Employee theft is when an employee is stealing resources, cash, or other valuables in a business. It can be a little bit of theft such as petty cash, or a large amount such as suddenly doubling in the office supplies that you are ordering.
Due to the stressful (both emotionally and financially speaking) time of the year, employees might be more prone to stealing over the holidays in order to make ends meet or to be able to get their holiday shopping gifts. So, be aware of what you need to watch for in order to make sure that all stays above board.
What are signs to watch for?
There are certain behaviors or signs that you can watch for when you are hoping to catch employees stealing from you, so take a look at some of the most obvious behaviors below.
Refuses to take a paid vacationWhether it’s worry or guilt, an employee won’t want to take a paid vacation because they’re concerned that someone who comes in to temporarily take over their position will discover the stealing that they’ve been doing. SO, they simply refuse to take the vacation, instead.
Always working overtime or on the weekendsWhen an employee consistently needs to put in overtime or weekend-work, it might be ae sign that they are stealing form you. Be aware of who is putting in the request and how often it happens.
Continuous need to take work homeIf someone wants to take work home with them every night, this should be another red flag that they could be hiding something, taking money or resources for themselves.
A “strange” connection with vendors or independent contractorsIf an employee has a weirdly close connection to vendors or independent contractors, than you may want to look further into both of them, because it could be a sign of something going on that is going to cost you money.
It can be frightening to discover that an employee has been stealing from the company – especially over the holiday season – so keep these behaviors in mind and watch for them over the year (and especially with the holiday season, where it becomes more common) so that you can catch it before it comes a problem, and deal with it in the best manner possible for yourself and the employee responsible for it.
A forensic accountant such as Palma Financial Consulting can take a look at your vendors, your employee records, your business financial statements and see if there are any inconsistencies. Further, we can review your practices and help you determine what areas you might need to tighten up or keep an eye on. Contact us today at (281) 668-9168 to get an overview of how we can help you and your business.