Law firms must guard against embezzlement

In any organization, accounts payable is highly vulnerable to fraud. If a company does not frequently verify that processes are being performed correctly, it’s possible that employees will be tempted to commit misdeeds. One way staff members often steal funds is by issuing themselves extra paychecks. When these duplicate payments go unnoticed, enterprises can suffer.

According to The Associated Press, William McNichols, who previously pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $730,000 from his former employer, a Washington law firm, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. While working for Trister, Ross, Schadler and Gold as a finance and business manager, McNichols gave himself extra salary payments in addition to other unauthorized checks, the source noted. The money was free online pokies no download used to pay off personal credit card bills.

The Illinois State Bar Association explained that law firms are particularly susceptible to fraud for several reasons, including the fact that lawyers must turn over many management operations to other employees. Additionally, because many American legal businesses are small, with 48 percent containing between 2 and 5 lawyers, the number of staff members is often too limited to implement protections such as requiring multiple signatures or segregating finance and accounting duties. And of course, internal theft is also made easier through these professionals’ legal expertise.

Conducting frequent accounts payable audits may be an effective way to deter crime and, as a result, improve any law practice’s bottom lines.

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