When you run a business, you trust that your accounting firm will handle your finances responsibly. However, an accountant may sometimes take actions that do not meet professional standards.
The Houston Chronicle says that there may be many signs that your accountant is behaving fraudulently. You may notice that your income and expenses do not line up anymore. Your bank statements may also differ from your accounting records. Additionally, there may be transactions on your bank statements that you do not remember making.
What kind of evidence do you need?
Before you sit down with your accountant, you may want to pull together documentation about the situation. Look over your record books to see the expense history. Are there any expenses that you do not understand? Do you see payments to vendors that you have never worked with? Does your inventory level correspond to your revenues? Examining all of this evidence can help you understand how long the situation has been occurring.
How should you handle fraud?
As soon as you realize that your accountant may be the one behind the theft, you should take action. According to the Houston Chronicle, you may need to perform an investigation of your company. You may contact an official organization or you may work with legal professionals. Either way, you need to make sure that your investigation meets the guidelines laid out by the state of California.
When the investigation is in progress, you may want to keep the matter quiet. If your accountant or other employees learn about the investigation, it may be difficult for you to determine the full extent of the situation.
As you move forward after the embezzlement, you should carefully interview your next accountant to make sure this person will abide by professional standards.