It’s always tough enough that you have to deal with data attacks on your company from the outside such as hacks and IT network security breaches, but it can be even tougher when you have to deal with internal fraud. Attacks from the outside, while damaging can still be mitigated with the right enforcement and usually you can patch up security measures afterwards. Internal fraud is much tougher to deal with because it often has no sign of data breaches, and it can be heartbreaking to feel an employee or manager of your company turned on you. But if you get in touch with a licensed forensic accountant in Chicago, your situation may be resolved.
Why Employees May Commit Fraud
Probably the first question that comes to your mind if you suspect someone in your company may have committed fraud or embezzlement is “why?” There are so many motives it’s hard to account for them all, but one common one is that the employee has been at the company a long time and never got a promotion. That can lead to them deciding to steal money they feel is owed to them. Or as the JOA points out, maybe they weren’t getting along with you, or you planned to terminate them or they wanted to help one of your competitors so they could get a job with them. But even if you can’t quite determine the motive, it’s still important to act quickly so your company doesn’t suffer any more losses.
What to Do When You Need an Investigation Done
If you believe you’ve detected where internal fraud may be coming from in your company, you and a forensic accountant can take steps to get an investigation underway. One common way to catch an employee in the act of fraud is having their office computer or paper documents investigated while they’re out of the office either after hours or while they’re on vacation. In some cases, software can be remotely installed on their computer while they’re using it that they won’t even notice is installing, and it could give your forensic accountant ways to check files on that computer undetected. The main thing to know is that it’s usually better if the suspected fraud perpetrator doesn’t know you’re on to them so that they don’t destroy any evidence that you would need in court. But timing can be everything when you’re trying to stop fraud because you don’t want your reputation to be ruined to a point where it’s too late.
In conclusion, a good forensic accountant can make sure your company is in fact the victim of fraud and can detect irregular patterns in your financial numbers. You should make sure that the accountant you hire is licensed to do business in your state and does not use any methods that would fall outside the boundaries of legal or ethical. Since forensic accountants can be quite costly to hire, it’s good to check their references and see what kind of cases they have taken on.