I was working on the forecast budget for the next five years and having some doubts. I knew the auditors would question every line and ask if the growth I was using was justifiable. Well it’s a budget. I rolled my eyes. My PA knocked on my office door.
“Come on in, Cecilia.”
“Luke. You have a meeting in thirty minutes with the CFO,” she informed me.
“I don’t remember anything booked in my calendar,” I frowned.
“It just popped up now. He said its urgent.”
“Sure, who else is invited to this meeting?”
“That doesn’t sound right. If it relates to finance surely Sean should be invited as well.”
She shook her head.
“Okay please remind me ten minutes before so I can get a coffee and walk to his office.”
“Sure,” she smiled and returned to her desk.
I glared at the budget, hoping it would fix itself. What was I thinking when I agreed to this job? I didn’t have experience with an SEC listed company of this magnitude. The auditors were always around, checking every little detail. There were barely enough hours in the day. I’d also had to move away from the city I’d grown up in and leave my family behind. I questioned whether the salary I earned was worth all of this. I knew it wasn’t but I actually loved the challenge that this job brought into my life. I was learning a lot too.
I entered Jacob’s office. He was leaning back in his chair and he was rubbing at his forehead. His eyes were red rimmed, and he looked overly concerned.
“Jake, you’re scaring me.”
“Luke. You would never believe what is going on in this company.”
“What do you mean?” I frowned in confusion.
“The auditors have picked up an irregularity.”
I rolled my eyes. These auditors picked up irregularities daily.
“You don’t understand. Someone has been embezzling millions from the company.”
My eyes widened in shock.
“How is that possible? We have sound controls in place.”
“Someone has slipped under the radar. There could be collusion involved. I don’t know all the details yet. I have a meeting with the audit partner later this afternoon. I just wanted to give you a heads up. Please keep this to yourself, I haven’t told anyone about it yet and I don’t intend to let this become public knowledge until we know what we are dealing with and who the culprit is.”
I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t even move my lips to agree with Jake. I would have never imagined in a million years that someone would be stealing millions from our company. I nodded.
A knock sounded at Jake’s door. It was his PA.
“Sir, your next meeting starts in ten minutes.”
“Thank you,” he noted.
“I’ll see you later Luke. Keep an eye out for anything suspicious going on.”
I nodded and returned to my office.