Managing money is never an easy job. A good accountant needs to know a lot more than just a list of tax codes. In addition to saving you from a huge tax bill, they need to know what is legal and what is illegal when it comes to moving your money about. If you’re a business owner, you might be more at risk of becoming involved in financial crimes than you might think. Ignorance of your offences is unlikely to help you avoid jail time.
Thanks to social media, email, and the internet, we are all far more vulnerable to scams than ever before. You might be touched by a tragic human interest story. At the bottom of the article is a donate button. You assume you’re heading off to PayPal or somewhere secure to offer a little help. But lots of things might go wrong next.
Be careful when you open emails with stories that touch you emotionally.
You might inadvertently download a virus. This might then root out your bank details or spy on you while you’re banking so it can steal your account information. Your account might then be used for fraud or other criminal activities.
If you enter your email address or other contact details, these might be used to find out more information about you. And if you actually hand over your bank account information, you might lose everything. You might have to accept the fact you just contributed to a crime.
Getting creative with your business accounts can land you in very hot water. In fact, you might find you are arrested and charged with embezzlement, money laundering, or even funding terrorist activity. The classification of crimes as felony can include all of these. A felony is usually a crime that is punishable by at least a year in prison.
When creativity is not rewarded.
There are many reasons why you might want to move your company’s money around. Adjusting cash flow, making purchases, or simply covering up a loss temporarily might seem like a good idea at the time. Some business leaders have attempted to manipulate or misreport financial data to hide the company’s true financial position. This too is illegal. Always check with a reputable accountant or lawyer that you’re not breaking any laws.
Just What Are You Funding?
The problem with putting your hard-earned cash into third-party accounts is that you can never be certain what you’re helping to fund. If you are sent an invoice for goods or services that seems a little high, you might be supporting a crime if you pay it or fail to report a problem. If you are using a new supplier, make sure there is a full contract detailing the costs. Always compare quotes, so you know the figures are fair. Check the goods or services you actually receive too.
Money from criminal activities almost always goes to fund more criminal activity. It might even be supporting terrorist groups. Always double or triple sign purchases. Make sure you know how to spot and avoid financial crimes.