CAUGHT OFF GUARD: Why and When To Conduct Audits By Julie Anne Eason

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    auditThere are many reasons to audit any business. The most obvious reason is to discover theft and embezzlement; however, auditing should be a normal part of conducting business in every enterprise. Retail businesses have now discovered that as much theft occurs from employees as from customers. Complete and thorough audits also uncover inefficiencies and mistakes made every day that expose the facility to grave liability. Self-storage is particularly vulnerable because our managers work much of the time with little or no direct supervision.

    A recent FBI crime report states that the losses from internal theft and pilferage far exceed theft from outside sources. Embezzlement is a recurring problem for selfstorage owners. It usually takes place when managers have been given more authority than was necessary, or where there was a lapse in internal controls, such that there were no checks and balances pertaining to an employee’s duties and procedures.

    The majority of self-storage managers are trustworthy, responsible, reliable, and honest, but embezzlement is often a crime of opportunity. Certainly, cash is the first thought that comes to mind, but cash is not the only asset that may be taken.

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