Mary’s mother was dismayed. Her daughter had just been brought home by a city detective. Mary has been arrested at the bank where she had been working for three months.
Mary’s job had been in the cash receipts/ payment processing operation. Her job was to operate a machine that would magnetically encode the amount of a customer’s payment on the customer’s remittance advice. Mary did not have access to the customer’s payment. The amount that she was to encode was handwritten on each remittance advice. The magnetic encoding allowed the remittance advices to be processed by a computer.
“I was only trying to help us, Mom,” Mary explained. “With Dad laid off from the mill and all, I just figured that no one would notice if I took our utility bills in to work, encoded them with amounts as if payment had been made, and then inserted them with the other remittances I was working on. I didn’t realize that my work was being checked. I guess I should have known better.”

Should Mary have known better? Does an organization, such as the bank where Mary worked, have any obligation to explain the control environment of a job to an employee?

  • CreatedFebruary 26, 2015
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