One extra issue generated by the correlation of an economic downturn and a spate of employee fraud is that the absence of absconded-with funds is very easily blamed not on theft but on the declining revenue intrinsic to the business cycle. In fact, part of the Journal's point is that because small busines owners tend to be less experienced and have fewer internal security resources, small businesses are especially vulnerable to this brand of foul play.
The owner of a small bookstore in Alabama, for example, spent quite a bit of time not understanding why banks would refuse to lend her money. Then she noted discrepancies on her company's credit-card account: it was months late on several payments, which in turn caused a decline in the business's credit score, thereby (legitimately) turning off lenders. The explanation for those discrepancies? Allegedly, a former bookkeeper took funds from the bookstore's balance sheet to pay off personal debt. (You're, you know, not allowed to do that.) The owner, meanwhile, has since arranged for company bank statements to be mailed to her and her husband's home (they are the business's co-owners)--a smart idea.
The article recommends that small business owners who suspect employee fraud act very rapidly and very discreetly. Call your outside accountant, call a lawyer, but do so quietly--the offending employee could catch on and lam it (if bookkeepers can indeed be said to "lam" it).
The other lesson is not never to delegate. It's just to consider security concerns in deciding which activities to delegate and which not to.
Beyond that, exercise a hefty extra dose of caution for the next several months.
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