Are You Sure Your “Trusted” Employees Can Really Be Trusted?

David Anderson is principal of David Anderson & Associates, a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides a full range of fraud investigation, forensic accounting, and marital dissolution services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley.

You have them, your competitors have them, every company large or small has them. “Them” are your trusted employees, women and men on your team who have worked with you forever and have, time after time, proven their loyalty to you and your organization.

Despite a spotless track record, though, can you really trust your “trusted” employees?

Certified Fraud Examiner David Anderson of the Philadelphia forensic account services firm of David Anderson & Associates, says you never should forget that these “trusted” employees can pose a significant fraud threat to businesses and organization.

“They may be family members, employees who have worked their way up the management ladder over the years, employees who are hardworking and who put in long hours, and/or employees who have contributed to the past success of the business,” he said.

Because of this “trusted” status, Anderson said, business owners and senior managers tend to exert less oversight over these employees than they do over the typical employee.

Most “trusted” employees are worthy of the trust they have earned.  However, other “trusted” employees have used the trust and lack oversight to commit fraud.  Over the past several years, investigations of “trusted” employees conducted by David Anderson & Associates have identified the following frauds perpetrated on their employers:

  • Use of employers’ business credit cards to charge personal expenses
  • Use of expense reimbursements to have the business pay for personal expenses or non-existent expenses
  • Manipulation of payroll to take improper salaries and bonuses
  • Use of more vacation, personal, and sick days than earned
  • Running purchases for their own personal business through the purchase accounts of their employer, and having the employer pay for these purchases
  • Diverting customer cash payments to themselves, and covering up the diversion by manipulating the employer’s accounting system
  • Removing inventory from the employer’s warehouse, and covering up the diversion by manipulating the employers accounting system
  • Diverting customers and sales from the employer’s business to their own personal or a friend’s business
  • Selling the employer’s fully depreciated assets to a third-party and pocketing the proceeds.

In each case, Anderson said, the employer had no fraud deterrence program in place.  These companies could have significantly reduced the likelihood of fraud occurring if management had instituted such procedures as:

  • Regular top management or third-party consultant review of credit card statements and expense reimbursement requests
  • Regular top management or third-party consultant review of payroll journals
  • Regular top management or third-party consultant review of monthly bank statements and monthly financial statements
  • Regular periodic review of operations by top management or a third-party consultant
  • Instituting an anti-fraud policy, disseminating it to all managers and other employees, and holding periodic training sessions on spotting and report fraud
  • Letting all employees know that top management does not condone fraud, and that supervisors are actively watching out for it.

“Trusted” employees continue to be a problem for employers who provide reduced oversight to them.  However, Anderson said, by instituting relatively simple and relatively inexpensive fraud deterrence procedures, management can significantly reduce the risk of such “trusted” employees becoming untrustworthy.

If you require the services of a Certified Fraud Examiner or any other forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, please contact the Philadelphia forensic accounting firm of David Anderson & Associates by calling David Anderson at 267-207-3597 or emailing him at

About David Anderson & Associates

David Anderson & Associates is a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides a full range of forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley.  The experienced professionals at David Anderson & Associates provide forensic accounting, business valuation, fraud investigation, fraud deterrence, litigation support, economic damage analysis, business consulting and outsourced CFO services.  Company principal David Anderson is a forensic accounting expert who has more than 30 years of experience in financial and operational leadership positions and is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Certified Valuation Analyst.