The case of Amy Wilson, an office manager and bookkeeper of a small Indiana manufacturing business, demonstrates the importance of fraud risk management measures for fraud detection. In her case, she managed to steal more than $350,000 from her company over a period of four years. The company did not have any measures in place to detect fraud, and what happened as a result should serve as a warning for other small businesses.
Amy Wilson worked in her company’s accounting department, and the company did not have any fraud risk management procedures. Over four years, she stole $350,000 by cooking the books for the company’s largest vendor. Wilson, who spent two years in prison, says that she started stealing in 2006 in order to pay for her son’s legal problems. She said that it was so easy that she continued stealing from the company through February 2009. She says that she was initially nervous but gradually became blatant because she thought that her employers were not smart enough to catch her.
Wilson says that she overheard her boss on the phone with Capital One and realized that she was going to get caught. The credit card company called her employer for a fraud check. After pleading guilty, she was sentenced to six years and ended up serving two years in prison followed by two years of probation.
Wilson’s case demonstrates the importance of having antifraud control systems in place. Her employer considered auditing and other methods of identifying fraud as wastes of money and time. The company ended up losing far more money than it would have cost to simply have preventative measures in place.
Auditors recommend that businesses implement systems to manage the risk of fraud that eliminate conflicts of interest while also ensuring that the company records are monitored. The best practices for fraud detection should include performing thorough background checks on all prospective employees. Companies should have training programs for workers about internal theft and fraud detection in order to help reduce the risk. Employees should be encouraged to report their suspicions if they notice the signs of embezzlement or workplace fraud. Visit this FTC-issued guide for an even more comprehensive guide on how to avoid frauds and scams.
The business debit cards at Bento for Business can be one way that businesses can help to prevent fraud. These cards give business owners the ability to control the amount that can be spent on each card as well as the types of purchases. Business owners may limit individual cards to a single category of spending. For example, if a worker needs a card to pay for travel, the card could be limited to pay-at-the-pump gas purchases only. Any other transactions that are attempted will be declined. Bento for Business keeps a running track of all of the company’s spending on the cards that have been given to the employees, and business owners are able to review what has been spent simply by looking at the dashboard interface from their laptops or mobile devices 24 hours per day. Additionally, the dashboard can easily be synced with QuickBooks software for review by a company accountant or business owner. Individual cards can be instantly turned off if a problem is spotted, and all transactions through Bento are SSL-encrypted. Start your free, no-obligation trial today or call us at 866.220.8455 for more information.
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