Motivation side of the fraud triangle – part 2

Amongst the many dangers is that some motivations would be hidden from view in the workplace.  Some of them, such as drinking or narcotics, would eventually show side effects in the workplace.  Those factors could create visibility that would raise questions which in turn could in turn possibly result in discovery of the fraud.  If that is the motivation, the plan could self-destruct fairly quickly.  

Other motivations, such as health costs from serious illness of a loved one, uncontrollable gambling, or imminent house foreclosure could easily be completely invisible to coworkers and supervisors.  Frauds driven by those motivations could last a long time.

Accountants used to think that motivations came from outside the workplace.  Family illness, drugs, booze, gambling, and foreclosures don’t arise from the job.   That is not the case anymore.  Some NPOs have imposed across-the-board pay cuts with no change in hours.  Many churches are on four day workweeks, which is a 20% cut in pay.   Few people can absorb that without a lot of pain.  Anxiety over whether there will be layoffs in the future can create a lot of fear.  Even though changes like those may be absolutely necessary to keep a ministry alive, they can increase the risks of creating motivation for fraud.  Those risks may not change the action plan, but leaders need to be aware there may be collateral harm caused by layoffs, pay cuts, and benefit reductions.



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