Despite the best efforts of employers, it is difficult for companies to determine how to effectively safeguard their assets in situations where one or two people are responsible for large sums of money. A great deal of trust is a requirement for this level of funds management, and without utilizing an accounts payable audit solution to help keep track of complex office paperwork, businesses run the risk of seeing their budgets slowly siphoned away.
The Duncan Banner reported that an employee of the Bray-Doyle Public School was recently charged with embezzlement after she stole nearly $300,000. As an encumbrance clerk, the accused had direct access to the institution's funds, making it relatively simple for her to anonymously misappropriate money into her private account, which the source reported could have begun as early as 2008. She was formally charged with embezzlement in 2012, to which she has since pleaded guilty, but her fraudulent activities were allowed to continue unchecked up until that point, when Superintendent David Eads first became suspicious. As a result of her actions, Brown faces five years in prison and must pay restitution to the school until the total amount stolen is returned.
In a similar situation involving the accused being highly connected to the stolen funds, AL.com reported that Bonny Jean Carter of Childersburg, Alabama, was recently charged with bank fraud in the sum of $951,787. She worked as an accounting clerk at SouthFirst Bank in Sylacuaga, which granted her complete access to the institution's assets. Between 2002 and 2013, Carter converted funds to personal savings accounts under her daughter's name, thus allowing her to bypass accounts payable audits.
Fraudulent activities such as these can go unnoticed for years unless companies are utilizing appropriate safeguards, such as AP audits. Perpetrators who are convicted of embezzlement are typically expected to repay their victims, but by deploying audit solutions, many of these reported crimes should become obsolete, thereby negating the loss of funds in the first place.