Company Crooks

This posting was prompted by an article I read about what to do when a company owner was committing fraudulent activities to evade income taxes. Whether the fraud is committed by an owner or someone else, let’s cut to the chase and call them what they are: company crooks. While I will not rehash the tax issue, I do want to touch on the issue of fraud from another vantage point; that of the employee or contractor/consultant who has knowledge of a fraudulent activity.

It Could Be Anybody

If you are in a position with a company where you have any kind of fiduciary responsibility this is for you. That not only means CFOs and Controllers, but anyone with access to financial activity or who has knowledge of what information is recorded and/or how it is recorded. Anyone from a shipping clerk to a business owner may be impacted by fraud. Don’t let the term fiduciary cause you to think that this is only about those who actually control financial activity. If you have knowledge of something unethical, you are already involved, even if not directly. The tenacles of company crooks reach further than we often realize.

What to Do

If you become aware of someone committing a fraudulent activity, it is critical that you report it to someone higher in the company. If the person involved happens to be an owner, you might be wise to see a personal lawyer for advice on how to handle the situation. Yes, that may cost you some money but much less than it might if you let the situation go and it later becomes known that you had knowledge of the activity.

What if Nothing Happens Then?

If you have reported an activity and nothing happens to remedy it, you may well find it necessary to resign your position. Yes, you could be without work for a while, but in the long run that could well be the best course of action. Face it, if you have reported a fraudulent activity and nothing is done to resolve the issue, perhaps it is not a company where you want to work.

The bottom line is that there are more company crooks than we may realize. But, I can say that having dealt with this kind of event, you will maintain your self-respect if you remove yourself from a situation where this continues.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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