Fraud that affects a business can come from many places. A large company could fall victim to wire fraud perpetrated by an outside organization or products bought from a supplier who delivers something much less valuable than what the company ordered.
However, the most damaging fraud for many companies will come from within the organization. There are multiple different departments in any company that are more likely than others to have employees commit acts of fraud.
According to an analysis by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, more than 80% of internal fraud at a company will stem from people in six different departments, which you can group into three different categories. People working in these fields are likely under more scrutiny and at more risk of white-collar criminal charges.
Those both in control of the daily function of the company and the big-picture plan for the business can do a lot of harm through fraud. These professionals often have very little oversight from within the company, making it easier for them to misappropriate resources.
Obviously, individuals with access to business accounts can easily commit fraud against the company that employs them. Accountants can even cover their own tracks by falsifying financial records. Only when an outside professional or new accounting hire reviews the documentation will the company realize the extent of the fraud.
Those who work in purchasing likely also have access to company resources and could try to secure kickbacks from suppliers or otherwise engage in fraudulent activity that benefits them personally.
Those who work directly with customers and clients in a sales position could defraud the company in a number of ways. They might manipulate how or when they submit purchase orders in order to qualify for bonuses that they shouldn't receive. They might submit purchase orders that the client never approved as a means of fluffing up their numbers, even if it puts the company at risk rid of returns or lost business in the future.
Customer service professionals are also often in a position to commit fraud through issuing refunds or even pocketing money when a customer completes a cash transaction.
If you work in any of these six departments, you are more likely than some of your co-workers to get accused of fraud in the future. Understanding why your employer suspects you can be important if you want to defend yourself against white-collar criminal allegations.