Do you know how to spot employees and potential hires that might be at a higher risk for committing some type of business fraud against your company? If you did, it could help you to hire only the best possible employees at your company, and it could make your business a safer place. While there are no methods of detecting who will or will not commit fraud with 100% accuracy, certain methods can help you to get a better idea of the personality types that are more likely to be trouble. They call this the fraud triangle, and it’s a very simple formula. Let’s look at the three traits of employees who commit fraud.
Trait #1: Pressure of a Financial Need Motivation
If someone has a financial need, he or she will feel a greater temptation to become a fraudulent employee. The pressure can cause the person to think irrationally, and they might do whatever it takes to get the money they need. Your most trusted key employee could fall to this temptation if the need is great enough.
Trait #2: Opportunity
The fraudulent employee is often trusted and hardworking (therefore left alone at work). He/she may have check signing and purchasing authorities. They are a trusted ally and are close enough to have the opportunity to commit business fraud. They help your small business feel like a family business.
Trait #3: Rationalization of the Act
One might think the ability to rationalize these types of acts is something that not all personalities are able to do without feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt. However, these rationalizations are often tied to a financial addiction: shopping, gambling, and drugs. They are not gaining wealth. Also, every instance is
unusual to them, even if it becomes millions. They tell themselves they need it. This can happen in a family business just as easily as it can happen with strangers.
Barb is the CEO of Fisher Bookkeeping, an outsourced bookkeeping consultancy that provides small businesses with a full-service financial department. Her favorite aspect of work is to break down the accounting to meaningful bits, so entrepreneurs can make a powerful difference in their own business. She's also a power lifter (squat: 215, DL: 270).