Accounting (bookkeeping) theft is a major concern within the beverage industry. From falsifying daily inventory records to complicated auditing abuse, this area of theft is often the most difficult to detect. Sometimes, it is the managers themselves who are behind the scams. Owners need to be aware of the following possibilities:
- Sales records - falsifying daily sales records and stealing the difference between recorded and actual cash received.
- Inflating overtime - adding overtime or extra hours to payroll records in order to increase wages.
- Discounts - recording higher-than-actual discounts when reimbursement checks from credit card companies are deposited.
- Forging signatures - making checks payable to oneself, then forging signatures or using signed blank checks, then destroying paid checks returned from the bank.
- Falsifying bank statement reconciliations - overrecording deposits that have not been recorded, underrecording outstanding checks or even deliberately miscalculating reconciliation worksheets with the intention of covering cash shortages.
- Overpaying suppliers' invoices - then converting the suppliers' refund check for personal use.
- Resubmitting invoices - duplicating requests for payment and splitting the difference with dishonest suppliers.
- Dummy companies - setting up "dummy" companies and using them to submit invoices for payment.
- "Padding" the payroll - issuing checks for fictitious members of staff or employees who no longer work for the company.
This article is an excerpt from the Food Service Professional Guide to Controlling Liquor Wine & Beverage Costs, authored by Elizabeth Godsmark, published by Atlantic Publishing Company. This excerpt has been reprinted with permission of the publisher. To purchase this book go to: