As an entrepreneur you want to be able to trust everyone in your company. Unfortunately, in practice, it appears that employees cannot always resist the temptation attempting to gain benefits for themselves, to the detriment of the company. Fraud in the workplace is more common than many business owners realize. This not only has financial implications, it often also has a negative impact on the working atmosphere.
If you have concerns about fraud in your company you should find out if your suspicion is justified. Especially if you suspect employee fraud abroad, out of sight, you can hardly check this. Then a professional business investigation agency might be your best option. Detecting fraud and acting quickly can save a lot of money and will benefit the working atmosphere.
Cindy (43): I am the owner of a company that provides sustainable energy solutions for hotels. I have a team of 14 account managers working for me. They are on the road, mainly in Europe, recruiting new clients and visiting existing ones. Everyone in the company is given a lot of freedom and responsibility.
Although I have someone who maintains financial records and monitors the revenues and expenditures, I have entered into a relationship of trust with my sales team, assuming that everyone sticks to the agreements made. Work-related expenses will be reimbursed but other costs are at own expense.
In my view, this went well for a long time, until I got a call from my accountant who noticed a rise in expenses of two employees. There were substantial differences in the costs they incurred compared to their colleagues. For example, we found out that, they more often went out to dinner with clients, booked more nights than others for their business trips and that they made higher costs during their stay.
When I had a conversation with them about it, they could justify it all. There was this client who needed some extra attention, there was this meeting which was suddenly rescheduled to another day and then unexpectedly there was this new-found prospect nearby, making it necessary to stay longer. They usually reach their targets, so I let it go, with the agreement that they would try to make more efficient use of their time during their business trips.
After a while, one of the other co-workers told me that there were rumors about these two. They would often bring their spouses on business trips and take more days off than they report. The colleague who told me, did so reluctantly, but he also felt a strong sense of injustice because he himself works like a dog and keeps to agreements.
For me it’s very difficult to find out if someone indeed deviates from what we’ve agreed. Therefore I want to know for sure if these rumors are correct. Given the daily efforts of most of the employees I can’t afford to let those two go ahead with it, if the suspicions turn out to be true.
When there is internal fraud
Fraud within companies, is committed in many different ways. Just like the case above or through one of the many other forms of internal fraud. We list the most important ones.
- Expense reimbursement fraud: claiming expenses that have not been incurred or are not justified
- Employee time theft: time reporting fraud or spending time on activities not related to work while on the job
- Absence fraud: taking unauthorized absence from work
- Embezzlement: misappropriation of entrusted property, such as money or laptop computers
- Larceny: theft of company property for which no access has been granted, from cleaning items to equipment
Fraud damages your business
Fraud costs your company a lot of money, but has another major disadvantage. If other colleagues get suspicions, they quickly lose confidence in the company. Finding out is a necessity!
We can help
Borderless Investigations specializes in investigating fraud, whether internal or external, especially in cross-border cases where it is even more difficult to find out and prove if there is fraud. Whether it concerns money, time or property, we conduct a thorough investigation. Based on the report that we will provide, further steps can be taken. We advise you what to do next to tackle the fraud.