Employee theft is an unfortunate reality. It can take many forms, from workers swiping office supplies or engaging in "buddy-punching" that inaccurately records an absent colleague's presence, to more serious offenses such as embezzling money.
A number of cases related to the misappropriation of organizations' funds have been in the news recently.
Earlier this month, the Knoxville News Sentinel covered the story of a Tennessee middle school coach who mishandled cheerleading funds and failed to keep receipts that supported her expenses. On a larger scale, former Microsoft accountant Randal Ray Seal was recently sentenced to two years in federal prison for embezzling more than $1 million from the corporation.
Companies looking to mitigate the effect of embezzlement should implement a system of internal controls. This should include conducting regular accounts payable audits and ensuring necessary checks and balances are in place. If too much power is given to one member of staff or audits are not conducted regularly, the company's losses are likely to increase.