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Protecting Inventory – Internal Controls and Legal Remedies

Protecting-Inventory-Interna- Controls-and-Legal-Remedies

Protecting Inventory – Internal Controls and Legal Remedies

Occupational fraud is fraud performed by an employee on an employer during their employment. They are more widespread and cause more financial loss to businesses than frauds that are committed by third parties. Inventory fraud is a type of occupational fraud. This article discusses inventory frauds, types of inventory frauds, the mechanism for preventing inventory frauds, and legal remedies available in India. 

Inventory Fraud

Inventory frauds involve the theft of inventory items when the theft is concealed by manipulating the continuous inventory records. The other major method for hiding inventory fraud is through sale or purchase fraud.

Inventory is one of the main targets of fraud. It is typically the largest value of assets about retail businesses and a huge portion of the asset value of manufacturing businesses. Most businesses not related to services have, as a minimum, some level of inventory or supplies on hand. The stealing of physical assets is common. One common goal of these thefts are inventory items, as inventory items can numerous; can be of small value; maybe voluntarily accessible and removable; may not well protected; and may not be right away missed, if missed at all.

Mechanism for Preventing Inventory Fraud

Stealing inventory items is done easily. Any lack of physical security that contributes to the theft of inventory, by both employees and non-employees is considered an area of weakness. If items are available to any employee without prior authorization or requisition, inventory will be vulnerable to theft. But these items need to be freely obtainable to salespeople in most retail businesses. Manufacturing businesses also need straightforward access to materials to work competently.

Hence, one of the best ways to prevent inventory fraud is through the installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras on the business premises that cover the entire premises. Having CCTV records of the activities can both help prevent inventory fraud and/or serve as evidence in case of legal disputes.

Concealing Inventory Fraud

Concealing the theft of inventory in the business records is the more hard part of inventory fraud. If the theft is a once in a lifetime event, the employee may not try to hide the theft. Based on the item stolen, they may leave the loss to be noticed at the next time stock-taking, believing that the loss will not be able to be traced back to them. If the employee continues the thefts over some time, they will perhaps need to hide the losses. How the loss is concealed specifies the type of inventory fraud that has been performed. Some of the types of inventory fraud include:

  • False Write-Offs
  • False Stock Takes
  • Falsifying Perpetual Accounts Records
  • False Receipt of Documentation

Legal Remedies for Inventory Fraud

The theft of inventory or inventory fraud is a criminal offense in India. According to Section 378 of The Indian Penal Code, whoever intends to take dishonestly any moveable property out of the possession of any person without that per­son’s consent, moves that property to such taking is said to commit theft.

In India, any clerk or servant employed commits a theft in respect of any property in possession of his master or employer, is punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine. Hence, theft of inventory is a serious criminal offense in India.

To talk to a lawyer specializing in inventory theft, visit IndiaFilings or Nearest.Expert