You may want to take a closer look if the person who handles your finances shows the following behavior:
- Territorial: They are defensive about “their area,” including their desk, computer and the work they handle for you. No one can do what they do.
- Workaholic: They refuse to take vacations. Extended time off means someone will likely have to do their job in their absence, perhaps leading to discovery.
- Extravagance: They start buying things you know are beyond their income level. If they show up to work with a tricked-out SUV or start displaying expensive tastes, pay attention.
- Over familiarity: They are unusually close to a vendor or client. If they always insist that a business get front-of-the-line treatment, it could be a red flag.
- Money problems: They are having financial difficulties. They’re asking for advances and complaining about making ends meet. They may have gambling issues. If they can’t handle their own finances, is it wise to trust them with yours?
- Professional “coziness”: They have a field/office friendship that’s just a little too cozy. This could be especially true if your business takes service calls. One person may be handling the incoming calls and dispatching a service technician. When the technician offers a cash discount to the client, the two pocket and split the cash, and no record of the service call exists.
- Disgruntled: They have a “poor me” attitude. They gripe to you or to others about being underpaid and underappreciated.
- Additionally, you could be seeing:
- In the red: You’re not making the money you know you should be making. Things aren’t adding up. Expected profits aren’t there. There are unexplained losses on a job or a spike in material prices.
- Vanishing act: Records disappear. Bank statements, permit receipts, invoices and other financial records just can’t be located when you need them.
- Low morale: Employee morale is low. If you’ve enabled an embezzler – either by turning a blind eye to their actions or not being open to other employees’ complaints – you could be contributing to an atmosphere of distrust.
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