The CFO'S Perspective

Attention Owners, CFOs & Controllers: Is Your Trusted Bookkeeper Stealing?

There are professions that most people would consider trustworthy. Doctors & nurses, firefighters, and teachers all come to mind.  How about accountants?  Do you trust your bookkeeper?  The reasonable answer here is: Yes!  Trust is often built over time, through relationships and evidenced by past and ongoing performance.  The reality is, if you didn’t trust your employees, they probably wouldn’t still be working for you.

Topics: Leadership Fraud Security

Employee Fraud Factor #3: Rationalization

This is Part 3 of a series on the causes of a perfect employee fraud scenario.  Read “Employee Fraud Factor #1: Pressure” here, and “Employee Fraud Factor #2: Opportunity” Part 2 here.

In case you missed Part 1 & 2, there was once a really smart guy, Donald Cressey, who created a theory that said: “If three factors were met, any ordinary, trusted person could bring themselves to commit fraud.”

Topics: Leadership Fraud Security

Employee Fraud Factor #2: Opportunity

This is part 2 of a series on the causes of a perfect fraud scenario.  Read “Employee Fraud Factor #1: Pressure” here.

In case you missed Part 1, there was once a really smart guy, Donald Cressey, who created a theory that said: “If three factors were met, any ordinary, trusted person could bring themselves to commit fraud.”

In other words, given the right situation (or perhaps wrong situation), anybody could commit fraud.  Not just criminals, not simply “unethical” people, and certainly not just somebody ELSE’s accounting staff.

The three factors include:

>  Pressure
>  Opportunity
>  Rationalization

In Part 1 we talked about the first factor, Pressure, and how a person with an apparently SECRET financial problem might feel no other option than to steal company money.  They are on the prowl for just the right opportunity!

Topics: Leadership Fraud Security

Employee Fraud Factor #1: Pressure

Consider which of these you believe to be true:

  • Your bookkeeper is honest and would never steal from you  -> FALSE
  • All the people you’ve hired are ethical people  -> FALSE
  • A person is either ethical or not ethical, period   -> FALSE
  • People who commit fraud are long-time criminals, waiting to pounce  -> FALSE
Topics: Leadership Fraud Security