White-collar crime in business designates offenses that are committed with the purpose of obtaining financial gain by resorting to a particular form of deception. Generally, they include lying, stealing, and cheating in a business context. The variety of white-collar crimes is limited only by the fantasy of the person who commits them and may include: tax evasion, insider trading, bribery, embezzlement, money laundering, and a long list of other offenses. This type of crime is typically linked to business people who are involved in a lawful activity and have access to considerable amounts of other people’s money.
Generally, such people occupy respectable positions until their illegal actions are discovered. However, it would be a mistake to attribute white-collar crimes exclusively to large businesses where millions of dollars can be stolen. In fact, fraud and theft are even more widespread in small companies as they have much less reliable protective systems. Even a long-trusted bookkeeper, who initially has access to small amounts, can gradually steal a considerable sum of money from an organization. Small companies have to pay more taxes because of reduced government revenues–this is another reason white-collar crimes are ruining them and can even lead to bankruptcy when they cannot face an advantage created by a fraudulent capital infusion to their competitors in the market.
Small businesses can fall victims to crimes committed by vendors who contract the company, which is not a rare case. There are several possible scenarios for this type of criminal offense. The first possible situation is that the company purchases a bulk of goods from another company at a considerably lower price (e.g., pens), but when it receives the order, it finds out that these goods are low-quality or do not have all the characteristics of their alternatives (the pens may have the only half amount of ink). According to the second scenario, the company may buy used products (e.g., furniture) in order to save money, but after the delivery discovers that some items are broken or too old to continue being used (broken chair wheels, damaged desks, etc.). Finally, the company can give a deposit for needed supplies, but the vendor disappears for good after the payment.
In order to make sure that such situations do not happen, the company can take the following steps:
- The leaders of the company can launch a fraud awareness program helping to prevent such crimes. These programs, as well as crime prevention resources, are numerous and can be chosen from.
- They can also introduce a policy making it obligatory to receive board approval before any operations are conducted. As a result, more than one representative from the organization will take part in the decision about a new vendor, thereby increasing the possibility of fraud detection.
- It is possible to create a policy that would require investigating all new partners of the company before any contract is signed. Such services as Better Business Bureau allow collecting necessary information.
Although it is generally believed that white-collar crimes can be attributed only to huge corporations and involve millions of dollars, they actually happen to small businesses, too. It is important to take measures to prevent such crimes as they may lead to bankruptcy or even legal prosecution. For this purpose, a lot of different strategies (including all the above-mentioned) can be implemented.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
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