Your Small Business and Embezzlement

Orange County embezzlement investigatorsMany business owners know to keep an eye out for theft, burglary, workers comp fraud, and other security hazards, but there’s one type of loss that few are prepared for- embezzlement.
The very nature of the crime makes embezzlement particularly hard to catch, because it is rooted in trust- trust that you have placed in an employee, and trust that is all too often abused.
The definition of embezzlement is, according to Merriam-Webster, “to appropriate (as property entrusted to one’s care) fraudulently to one’s own use.”

Embezzlement is most often committed by employees who have access to and control over finances, like the bookkeeper or accountant. In larger companies, it’s fairly easy to put checks and balances in place to ensure that no one controls the entire cycle of receipts and payments; however, in smaller companies it is much harder to segregate accounting tasks. This can leave the control of the entire billing/payment cycle in the hands of just one person, putting the business completely at the mercy of that person’s integrity.

Even if not a strictly “family business,” small businesses often have a tight-knit, familial atmosphere, leading the owners to put a lot of trust in their employees, especially long-standing ones. Unfortunately, in our experiences as Orange County private investigators, it is often the most senior, trusted employees who are guilty of embezzlement.

That’s why it is so important to involve an outside party in your corporate security! At Systematic Inquiry Group, not only can we help you identify the source of fraud or embezzlement from within your company, but we can also help you prevent further security issues in the future by evaluating your internal security procedures and policies.

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