It’s in the headlines nearly every day — stories about fraud investigations that reveal the theft of hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars from local businesses, government agencies and charitable organizations. And who’s to blame? Too often the culprit is a long-time trusted employee.
“The person responsible for defrauding the company frequently is the last person the business owner ever would have suspected,” says David Anderson, principal of David Anderson & Associates, a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that conducts fraud investigations and offers fraud deterrence programs and fraud deterrence training. “Our fraud investigations often point to the most loyal, trustworthy and reliable employee, someone the boss can’t even imagine running the business without.”
Even worse, it is precisely this high level of trust that the employee has earned that allows him or her to perpetrate the fraud for many years without raising suspicion.
“Business owners are always shocked that fraud has occurred and stunned by the dollar amount stolen,” said Anderson, a Certified Fraud Examiner. “Most of them are busy focusing on their core jobs and necessarily delegate important financial duties to these most trusted employees. As long as things run smoothly and the owners and employees get paid, there is no reason to suspect theft.”
So what fraud deterrence steps can you take? One easy thing is to have your bank statements (originals or copies) mailed to your home instead of to your business. Then, take 15 minutes each month to examine the statements and cancelled checks to see if anything unusual is happening, Anderson said. Look for unknown vendors receiving regular payments, strange check numbers, lower cash receipts or bank balances than expected, or any red flags that indicate you need the expertise of a Certified Fraud Examiner, a highly specialized forensic accountant who can conduct a thorough fraud investigation to determine your company’s exposure.
Fraud investigations conducted by David Anderson & Associates can ascertain your company’s susceptibility to internal or external fraud, quantify the extent of economic damages if fraud has occurred, uncover missing assets, and provide economic damages expert witness testimony and litigation support in resulting prosecutions.
David Anderson & Associates also can help companies seeking to take a proactive approach to preventing fraud by assisting with risk assessment, fraud deterrence programs and fraud deterrence training.
If you need the services of a Certified Fraud Examiner, please contact the Philadelphia forensic accounting firm of David Anderson & Associates today by calling David Anderson at 267-207-3597 or emailing him.
David Anderson & Associates is a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides a full range of forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the surrounding communities. The experienced professionals at David Anderson & Associates provide forensic accounting, business valuation, fraud investigation, litigation support, economic damage analysis, business consulting and outsourced CFO services. Company principal David Anderson 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.