Internal AP audit exposes office manager’s misappropriation of funds

The office manager of West Bath, Maine-based J.R. Hill and Sons was recently charged with embezzling nearly $60,000 from the construction company, according to The Times Record.

Dale Marshall misappropriated funds in a number of ways since beginning the illegal activity in 2007. These included forging checks and compensating himself for vacation time he had not accrued.

The vacation time overpayments piqued the excavating contractor's suspicions after Marshall was fired for unrelated reasons. Stephanie Hill, the new office manager, initially believed the embezzlement was limited to a $500 check made out to Marshall that she found listed in the check register without explanation. An internal accounts payable audit was subsequently carried out.

When Marshall confessed to the full scale of the embezzlement, Hill told the news source she was "blown out of the water" by the figure.

A company that lacks checks and balances puts a lot of trust in its office manager or bookkeeper, which may sometimes prove to be misplaced. Requiring more than one person to sign off on checks can mitigate opportunities for embezzlement. 

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