You may be surprised to find out that fraud in business is much more prevalent than you think. This can be present in many forms and will impact a business’s financial stability.
There are many types of fraudulent actions that can take place in any business. Among them, the most common is asset misappropriation. In short, this type of fraud refers to the act of an employee stealing resources from their employer.
What are the most common forms of asset misappropriation?
Forged, Altered or Concealed Checks.
A forged check refers to an employee getting a company check and making themselves a payee, forging the authorized signature. An altered check means that someone gets their hand on an authentic company check but then proceeds to alter either the payee, the amount to be paid, or both. A concealed check can be part of a fraudulent scheme when the employee submits it to whoever prepares the company’s checks together with a bunch of other legitimate checks, hoping that this one will get signed without anybody questioning anything about it.
Billing becomes a fraud when an individual submits false invoices. This may happen when a shell company is set up, issuing false invoices, or when a legitimate vendor is paid twice.
Whether it’s by submitting false documents or manipulating the payroll system, an individual can cause the business to be paying out incorrect funds. Either employee hours could be overstated, bonuses could be miscalculated, “ghost” employees could be added to the payroll, or checks for employees that no longer work there may continue to be issued. The possibilities for payroll fraud are endless.
This type of fraud refers simply to getting hold of the company’s funds before they are recorded. This makes fraud harder to detect.
As a business owner, you should implement systems that make fraud harder to get away with. Put in place a thorough system of checks and balances, check it, and update it constantly. Taking the necessary steps to prevent fraud from happening in the first place may save your business integrity and may save you some big headaches.
If you have discovered who is committing fraud within your business, you should take disciplinary actions against them. You can also try to recover your losses by asking them to return what they have taken before you are forced to use legal procedures against them.
If that does not yield the desired results you may be forced to involve the police and begin proceedings for criminal offenses. At the same time, if your business is insured against employee fraud or theft, you should call your insurance company, inform them of what has been taking place in your business, and file a claim in order to recover your losses.
Get Legal Help.
If you have been dealing with fraud within your business, call your attorney to understand what legal proceedings are available against the culprit. If the decision is to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator, they will help you file it. They may advise you to get the expertise of a forensic accountant to review your bookkeeping and strengthen the case. Visit this website to understand more about what legal options are available to you.