Help! My boss is stealing from the company

Dear Aunty,

I work as a bookkeeper for the local office of a multi-national in Zambia.The problem is that the local manager is getting us to do extra work for cash which he then pockets. He never even gives us a bonus, instead keeps all the money for himself! 

Should I inform the global head office? My worry is that if I do they may shut down our office and we will all lose our jobs. 

It will be hard for me to find a new job and I have a family to feed – what should I do? 

Aunty replies,

How certain are you about the cash payments that the local manager is taking? Will the company be able to find any evidence related to these activities? The reason I ask is that if you are wrong and you do inform head office it may be difficult for you to continue to work with your boss.

That said, if your boss is taking payment for work the company employees are doing and is not putting these payments through the accounts then this is illegal. What makes this decision worse for you (especially given that you are the bookkeeper) is that if these payments are taking place and you know about them and say nothing then what will happen to you if/when head office find out?

This is a very difficult situation. Morally, I would say that you have to tell head office – and the sooner you tell them the better. Practically, I understand how difficult in can be to find work. I also completely understand the pressure that exists to find a job that will enable you to feed your family.

My instinct is always towards advising honesty. You could keep quiet and try and find before head office finds out but you will have to consider whether this could cast a dark shadow over any jobs you take in the future.

So, my advice is to ask to speak with someone in the human resource department at head office in confidence. If the multi-national is a diligent one then they will welcome your information. They may even reward you for your honesty.

It would be interesting to hear the views of our community. Perhaps someone has been in a similar situation and can offer there experience.

Why not share your views?

What are your views on this dilemma? Should he leave and take his dream job? You can share your comments below.

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2 comments

  1. merylin Hamalambo

    Like Aunty has said if you have irrefutable, concrete evidence, please go ahead and report to the head office. The problem with such people, first they will be stealing little amounts of money then later huge sums of money, no good for you or the company.

    The monies being stolen are company resources which could account for the profits of the company. If the company continues to trade in losses , head office could recommend complete closure or laying off of staff.

    Lastly if you let this boss to continue stealing, it means as you are saying he is stealing money that you are am sure indicating as staff expenses. Soon head office will realise that a lot of money is being paid to staff so they may decide to lay off some staff either way you could lose your job.

    Report the matter to head office as long as you have evidence. Do not discuss this matter with anyone else apart from the main HR person so that investigations are not jeopardized.

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