While it’s something treasurers and finance executives generally don’t like to think about, “occupational fraud”—fraud intentionally perpetrated against a company by one or more of its employees—is real. A survey conducted in 2015 by the Accounts Payable Network (APN) found that 44 percent of organizations had experienced an incidence of occupational fraud within the most recent three-year period.
The profile of a typical offender is far from what you might expect. Perpetrators of occupational fraud are often model senior-level employees who have been with the company for a while and who may be committing their first offense ever. Different perpetrators obviously have different reasons for committing occupational fraud, but these crimes are often precipitated by a combination of financial pressures and a perception that the risk of getting caught is low. Offenders often rationalize their actions with excuses such as “The company won’t miss the money” or “I should be getting paid more.”