In business management consulting work, consultants have been faced with some situations that no one wishes to find. One is the profile of a small business embezzler.
Truth is, nobody wants to talk about business fraud or embezzling. It generally happens with an extremely trusted employee. Sometimes, even family. That suspected employee certainly acts and seems like family. If you are wondering if you need to consider your own business more, your discomfort is warranted. Nothing about these situations is easy, but the life of the business depends upon the actions of leadership, finding the source of the problem, and fixing the problem and all the systemic side issues.
It’s really hard to talk openly about a potential small business embezzler, and you have to broach it carefully. Experienced business management consultants can be very discreet. Your consultant can come in to your company under the premise of another project (that is also useful!), and do some analysis in the accounting and purchasing systems to look specifically for red flags in the systems. You can save the business by engaging this expert, receiving outside opinion with documentation to support their opinion, and strategically decide how to move forward once the problem is defined. Business fraud is a serious issue and many companies are unaware that it’s happening until it’s too late.
Generally, a small business embezzler is a man aged 50-55, or a woman aged 45-50. In Oregon, the woman is a more common small business embezzler. Do you know this person?
Granted, not every control center is stealing from the business, these are simply a profile of red-flag items to watch. We will continue profiling how to prevent, find, and overcome business fraud in coming blogs.
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).