Most small businesses are embezzled from at least once. In fact, most businesses are also embezzled from a second time.
Do you know who is the most likely to do it? Across the board, it’s one trusted employee.
Here are some warning signs:
- Financial records are late,
- The bookkeeper is overly secretive and will not share back-up information,
- The financial statements don’t make sense,
- The bookkeeper won’t go on vacation, or
- It just doesn’t feel right.
If you’ve ever wondered whether something isn’t right with one of your employees, that’s usually a good clue. Unless you’re a normally suspicious person, it’s not normal to wonder whether you should fire an employee. If you find yourself wondering about whether you should fire someone, the answer is you probably should.
The best protection, though, starts with the hiring process. Check references. Hire solid candidates. Have written systems and insist on adherence to those. If you have a one-person accounting staff, consider outsourcing some of it, such as the bank reconciliation and financial analysis. you’re much safer when no one person controls all aspects of the financial system of your business.
An embezzler can put you out of business.
Don’t be a victim.