Embezzlers target petty cash accounts

When large sums of money go missing, many businesses are likely to initiate an accounts payable audit. These measures can help companies trace the source of lost funds, which may in turn allow them to not only recover the money but prevent future mistakes as well. In order to optimize the results, it is important for auditors to scrutinize all potential sources of fraud.

According to WAOW​-TV, Susan Tatro, who once served as a human resources manager at Waukesha Bearings Corp.'s Antigo location in Wisconsin, has been accused of embezzling more than $500,000 from her former employer since 2006. An AP audit discovered that she had written numerous checks to herself from business accounts, including one dedicated to petty cash expenses.

In Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, another similar incident was also discovered. Sean Van Den Dries, the former business manager of a car repair company, was recently accused of stealing approximately $90,400 from Hurt's Tire Service, drawing from the firm's petty cash funds in addition writing himself unauthorized checks.

Thieves might eye petty cash funds because it may be easier to hide fraud from these sources than with more regularly-managed accounts payable systems. Since petty cash funds are normally used for unexpected expenses, it may seem simpler to hide wrongful charges among these transactions. However, an accounts payable audit will still likely catch these activities.

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