Are You Protected from Employee Theft?

Employee theft is the reason for more than 30% of small business bankruptcies, according to the Better Business Bureau. 

And that’s not even counting the businesses that are stolen from, but don’t actually go bankrupt. 

How does this happen? 

Most small business owners don’t know what they don’t know, and that includes how the bookkeeping sausage is made. 

They often rely on a single “do-it-all” office person to keep the books, write checks, run payroll, deal with vendors, and invoice customers. 

That’s a lot of power and control in one place, even if you implicitly trust that person.

Additionally, the books are often a mess of unreconciled accounts, unclassified or misclassified transactions, and outdated balance sheets. Why? Because a bookkeeper classifies transactions and keeps you organized, but isn’t necessarily trained to do higher-level work that truly ties together your profit and loss, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. 

If you don’t have this level of clean, accurate books, you don’t really know your numbers. 

Which means if anyone is stealing from you, you probably have no idea. 

It happens all the time and is expensive, both financially and emotionally. 


How clean books help prevent fraud (and help your business thrive)

Don’t risk your business with sloppy books or sloppy financial controls. Here are three steps to staying on top of your numbers so you always know what’s happening in your business.

Step 1: Mitigate Risk: Outsource your accounting and bookkeeping to a professional firm that will help you establish good internal and external controls that mitigate the risk of theft, fraud, and loss. 

You can still use your internal person for a piece or two of the whole financial workflow, such as invoicing customers. 

Step 2: Know Your Numbers: If you don’t have a handle on your finances, no one does. Start by spotting potential issues, and graduate to analyzing the financial patterns of your business that will help you grow and thrive. 

(Bonus) Step 3: Grab Those Tax Breaks: Classify deductible items properly to maximize tax deductions. We’ve often reviewed books and found tax breaks buried deep in the general ledger in the wrong category.

$100K+ recovered from employee embezzlement

What do you do when you suspect an employee is stealing from your business? One owner reached out to Red Bike Advisors for Fraud & Forensic services after they saw a handful of suspicious personal expense transactions and unauthorized checks being cashed from their business banking account. 


We performed analysis of financial statements, general ledger detail, and bank statements over a four-year period. During this timeframe, we were able to trace and recover over $100,000 in misappropriated funds, which included unauthorized debit card charges, unauthorized checks cashed by the employee, and more. Aside from the aforementioned unauthorized transactions and checks, the element of fraud comes into play (*concealment = purposeful misrepresentation) when the employee miscoded these checks/expenses to appear as though they were ordinary business expenses.

Build the business you’ve always wanted. Let us handle the finances.

Book a free strategy session and learn more about our year-round accounting, tax, and advisory services.

Picture of Gretchen Roberts

Gretchen Roberts

Gretchen Roberts is CEO of Red Bike Advisors LLC. As a business owner herself, Gretchen has a deep understanding of the problems, questions, and financial pain points that business owners experience on a daily basis, and how strategic financial and tax planning is the key to "breakaway" business growth and success.
From Bookkeeping Chaos to Clarity
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