The most likely person to embezzle from a small business is the bookkeeper. There are two big reasons: (1) Small business owners often aren’t as diligent at checking references and (2) Opportunity.
It’s easy to become better at checking references, but the only fail-safe way to stop embezzlement with an in-house is to hire more people or stay involved in your accounting on a daily basis. The problem is that small businesses don’t have a full accounting staff and so because there is no division of duties, it becomes much easier for a bookkeeper to steal. Not every bookkeeper has larceny in his or her heart, but we sure hear a lot of stories like this one. That’s why I feel so strongly that small businesses should have an outside virtual bookkeeper and/or a virtual CFO. Here’s one small business who really wished they had: http://www.ranchosantafereview.com/2012/07/25/bookkeeper-sentenced-for-embezzling-funds-from-solana-beach-company/