Business owners have many reasons to be fully aware of what’s transpiring on their business premises. You need to know the daily operations of your employees so you are familiar with the work, how partners and clients interact with your representatives, and you must keep things transparent to promote honesty and accountability. Crimes are committed at the workplace every day but if you aren’t paying attention, many can slip by you.
Here are some common ones that can adversely impact a company and how to overcome them.
Somebody might use fraud to get a job that places them in a position to commit other white collar crimes. A false resume and skill set can be used for this purpose and the person conducting the interview could be misled. Be sure to do background checks, reference calls and your own research on employees both old and new.
According to Tad A. Nelson, a criminal attorney, these occur when an employee prompts the employer to pay false or inflated invoices for goods or services. Payment might be to a fictitious company that the employee created, or the employee might buy items for his or her own personal use and invoice their employer for payment.
Checks are the most common instrument used in forgeries. A person will obtain possession of a blank check, and he or she will forge a signature on it to access funds in the employer’s bank account. Forgeries might also occur for purposes of using credit or debit cards. Even contracts or instruments in connection with the ownership of personal property can be forged. Be sure to use payment methods that can help you keep track and scan for these types of schemes.
The key element distinguishing embezzlement from theft is that the embezzler is in a position of trust with his or her employer. He or she came into possession of funds or property legally. That person in trust then converts the funds or property for his or her own use. This is where good record-keeping and checks on each employee can come in handy. Make sure not only one person will be double-checking your business accounts.
If a person gives or receives something of value in return for improper performance, a financial, or other advantage, a bribe has occurred. Bribery may or may not involve an individual who is in a position of trust. It might occur in connection with obtaining an order or contract. A bribe might also be used for somebody to "look the other way" in monitoring the performance of a contract or the quality of services and materials.
Skimming occurs before cash is recorded on an employer’s books and records. For example, an employee takes a customer’s payment. Rather than memorializing the transaction, the employee keeps the money.
These types of crimes ordinarily involve goods rather than cash. The employee might take goods from a warehouse and privately sell them. Even confidential customer information might be misappropriated for purposes of gaining a business or financial advantage.
Employers should always be aware of the possibility of white collar crimes. They can seriously impact a company’s bottom line and reputation. Be sure to research your own company and employees to be sure they are staying within their boundaries.