Your business is your livelihood. It’s what you’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into establishing. So it can be very devastating to suddenly find out that your accountant has run away with your company’s money. You can actually feel like a rug has been pulled out from under you.
Accountants can steal money for many reasons, including lack of internal control, poor salaries, and obsolete technologies. This is why it’s imperative to always invest in your business by adopting the most appropriate technologies and motivating your workers through attractive salaries and other benefits. Nonetheless, some accountants steal for reasons beyond your control, such as greed. Unfortunately, you can do little or nothing to cure greedy employees.
There are, however, many ways through which accounts can steal money from your business. But then, stealing is mainly made through white-collar crimes like money laundering and embezzlement. Of course, some accountants can also steal huge amounts of money within the business premises. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get your business back up and running with the help of professionals. Here is what you need to do;
- Notify law enforcement authorities.
The first thing to do upon realizing your accountant has run off with your money is to notify the law enforcement authorities of your country. Give them details, including the accountant’s name, how much you think he ran off with, and the last time he was seen within your business premises. This step is crucial as law enforcement would do everything possible to track down the suspect early enough to recover all or part of your money before serving justice.
2. Employ a new accountant
The role of an accountant in every business can never be overemphasized. Accountants play the crucial role of making critical financial decisions by collecting, tracking, and correcting the organization’s financial decisions. So, once you’ve notified authorities, you will need to recruit another competent accountant to take over from the one who ran away with your money. While at it, remember to do a background check on the most eligible candidates before making a final decision. This is to help you not fall into the hands of another white-collar criminal.
Of course, suddenly recruiting an accountant can be difficult and stressful, but it’s essential to getting your business back on track. If you find it too overwhelming to recruit a new accountant, you can hire the services of professional recruiters to help you get a reliable and competent person to fill in the gap.
3. Review your financial records
You also need to review your financial records carefully to ensure all your money is accounted for. A thorough review will help you know exactly how much your ex-accountant must have stolen from you. However, hiring professional auditors for a detailed financial review is advisable. The reason is that professionals will carefully review your business and identify all those areas where your accountant may have stolen from you. Also, professional auditors will give you a better understanding of your financial situation, which will help you make informed decisions on how to sustain your business and prevent it from shutting down.
4. Make changes to your accounting procedures
It also makes sense to modify, update or change your accounting procedures to prevent such problems. Of course, such changes don’t just end with hiring a new accountant, as you could also implement new and more sophisticated accounting software that helps you stay on track with the activities of your accountant. Also, you could make changes to your internal accounting procedures. For example, you could limit access to only authorized personnel in interior areas such as storage areas.
5. Get help from other professionals
Dealing with the aftermath of your accountant running off with your money can be a daunting task. Fortunately, many professionals can help you through this challenging phase. For example, you can hire a lawyer or a professional investigator to cooperate with law enforcement to track and punish the criminal. Also, you could employ another professional accountant to review your financial records, identify areas where you may be vulnerable, and make changes to your accounting procedures. Similarly, you could hire professional business analysts and developers to help identify other business opportunities that could improve your organization’s finances.