In the movie “Men In Black” (MIB) staring Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith and Vincent D’Onofrio, there is a scene where they visit a newsstand to collect the recent tabloids. Kay (Jones) tells Smith that the tabloids are what they use to keep track of the aliens living on the planet. He makes a reference to Elvis, and tells him he isn’t dead, he simply returned to his home planet.
If you want to remain current in the world of employee embezzlement, I suggest you develop a similar routine to keep up with the latest developments.
I am amazed that some types of employee thefts, tried and true for years on end, continues to plague employers in this day, especially when they are very well known and very basic schemes.
My routine involves shopping at Staples, although any office supply store would suffice. It is there that you will learn the latest types of pens, inks and other office supplies that can be used by an ill-willed employee to steal from the company.
The latest is the revival of the erasable ink pens. There simply is no place for erasable ink pens (or pencils) in the accounting department of any employer. For example, checks manually prepared using erasable ink pens can be altered after they are signed – the thefts are just that easy. This is why you need to know what these pens look like, and scream if you see your staff using them.
Pilot’s “Frixion” are the latest rage. The ink can be removed by friction. Simply use the rubber end of the pen and erase off the writings. There is no place for these in the finance and bookkeeping offices. You need to know what they look like, and ensure they are not being used. Better still, never have manual checks altogether – insist all checks are computer generated from your accounting system.
What the Frixion package does not tell you is that the ink is also thermostatic ink (reacts to temperature). If you write with the pen and heat up the area where you wrote, the ink will go transparent. Once cooled, the ink will re-appear. Fun for a science project, and for ensuring a document is the original, but no place for this in accounting.
I encourage you in your battle against employee fraud to visit your local office supplier on a regular basis, to watch for the latest items.
Watch for my next post – USB Jump drives.