Chapter 39 Shirley A. Little Wouldn’t Hurt! Believe it or not but this case isn’t as unusual as it may seem. Society today has lost its understanding of “working hard for their money”. Reading this story seems to show so many signs of alert to me and would have thought that it would have been caught in the earlier stages. Many seemed to believe that “No not Shirley would hurt this company” and that is the problem. We tend to let our guards down and forget what the human minds are capable of.
With today’s technology and the knowledge of the individual almost anything can be accomplished and that is those tools that can be the most evil. Indeed Shirley may have been a hard worker and committed to her employer however; even with those characteristics you still should not have authority like she did. She was an above average employee that did everything expected of her and more. Her level of performance was above “normal” and there for she wasn’t a threat. A lessoned learned from the understanding of Shirley is that no matter who it is or the job title does not entitle them to be exempt.
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Sometimes the largest frauds being committed are by the highest man/women in the business. I believe Shirley got caught up in what seemed to be an easy way to get funds for herself and live the lavish life style she desired. She may be a good person and a hard worker however; those can be over ruled by greed. Shirley got away with it once and continued with a habit that lead to disaster for not only her but also the company. I doubt they will ever be reimbursed all those funds but I hope she set an example for others whom find themselves in that position.
It is my belief that the individual that committed this offence is seeking what others have and this seems to be the only way to achieve that. We are a marketable society that wants what we don’t have and often try to find the easiest way to get it. Shirley clearly wanted and may have needed the monies to show her fellow people that she is well off and lives a higher standard life style. If I were to give any advice for the future it would be to hold a meeting of higher management and set some new policies and procedures.
One, no matter how upper level management you are ALL travel vouchers etc. need approval of more than one official. Immediate Supervisor, finance and personnel should all be involved in this process. The immediate supervisor approving that their employee will be going on a travel beneficial to the department. Finance needs to approve the funds are available and how much should be spent and lastly personnel approving that their time will be appropriately accounted for during travel. With these steps in place having fraud committed will be a little tougher and lessen the chances for the future.
Along with having steps and multiple signatures needed for travel I believe those steps should also be followed for other transactions in the company. Although I would add an additional step to purchases of company goods and services being provided. I would include the contracting office in the steps of approval because most companies have some sort of contract or understanding with other vendors of what purchases or funds can be used. With an additional signature it would add another guard to protect the business assets.
There are many things one can do to help safe guard itself however; one needs to maintain an efficient work environment for the employee’s to complete their duties without making it impossible. Fraud will always exists when the human mind and technology mix but we can continue to tweak our process to adjust it accordingly. 2-3When an employee skims money by making off-book sales of merchandise, however, the theft cannot be detected by comparing the register tape to the cash drawer because the sale was never recorded on the register.
The employee bottom line doesn’t recored the transaction. They don’t record the sales and put the monies directly into their pocket. By doing so the victim has no evidence of wrong doing. 2-4Having a drop box at a local bank would be the best and most secure option I believe. The customer would have two options to either mail or personally drop off all payments to the local bank and you in the other state would be able to see all deposits. That would eliminate all middle men and be more secure. 3-6Thefts from other registers, to take money from others cash register.
Death by a thousand cuts, steal currency in very small amounts over a extended period of time. Reversing transactions, use reversing transactions, such as false voids or refunds. Altering cash counts or register tapes, to match cash counts to registers total receipts to cover up theft or manually alter the register tape. Destroying register tapes, if there cannot be a balance achieved then the employee may sometimes destroy the tape so there is no discovery of the incident. 3-8The accounting and management controls obviously have a glitch in their procedures however their surprise audits are great.
No employee should have the sole role of making deposit slips and the actual bank deposits. There should be at least two upper level employees involved in the process in hopes that one would tell on the other. With that in mind, having surprise audits is a great tool to keep the employees on their “toes”. Let them know that we are always watching and you could be the next to get audited and caught if need be. There is no room for one to feel enviable and will keep a more secure work place.