Most people don’t intend to do something wrong to their employer. They want to perform their jobs well and help the company remain stable and profitable. Unfortunately, sometimes workers can fall into bad habits that do impact a company’s finances.
Occasionally, those employees may eventually face charges of embezzlement when the company starts trying to regain control over its resources. Workers who never intended to do something inappropriate or illegal could find themselves accused of a criminal act because of a practice they thought was common at the company.
How can a company contribute to an employee unintentionally embezzling from the business?
By having a laissez-faire approach to expenses
When you first accepted the job, the person training you may have been the one to explain the company policy regarding expense cards or reimbursements. They may have even told you that everyone at the company occasionally writes off a personal meal or a tank of gas as a sort of unspoken perk. After all, the company can claim those expenses, so it may seem like a win-win.
Over time, you may start using the expense account for personal reasons often. If the company did not look into the charges people made, workers may have thought it quietly approved of them. Although you may not have been the first or only one to engage in that behavior, you might be the one that the company tries to hold accountable for it.
When companies crack down on such abuses, they can push for the prosecution of any workers who misused company accounts or reimbursement policies. Roughly 17% of all reported embezzlement losses relate to inappropriate charges to a company expense account or reimbursements.
By failing to clearly explain the company’s reimbursement and expense policies
If you are a young worker with your first professional job, you may not understand the rules that apply to a business expense account. Not having the right training or information could lead to people misusing company resources without any ill intention.
If businesses don’t have explicit policies on the use of reimbursement request or expense account, workers may not understand what is appropriate and what is not. Making sense of the embezzlement charges against you will help you prepare to defend yourself against those accusations in court.