Iowa bill proposes using AP audits to mitigate embezzlement

A bill drafted by Iowa legislators would employ the use of accounts payable audits as a deterrent to embezzlement in the state's small towns, Radio Iowa reports.

Specifically, the legislation would require an AP audit of small town accounts at least once every eight years. This would be a significant change from the current law, which exempts accounts in Iowa towns with fewer than 2,000 residents from the auditing requirement.

Representative Chip Baltimore, a Boone Republican, noted that state auditors have uncovered $1.4 million in fraud by reviewing the books of 32 different cities with fewer than 700 residents over the past five years.

"If a city and the city employees know there’s going to (be an audit), they will be less inclined to try to embezzle funds," said Baltimore, a proponent of the new proposal, as quoted by the news source.

Iowa was ranked fourth in a list of states most at risk of losses from major embezzlement cases, according to the 2011 Marquet Report on Embezzlement. The report also offered a profile of the typical embezzler – a female in her late 40s with no prior criminal history.

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