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Losses and Shortages


A loss or shortage is a theft or mysterious loss of university monies.  For example, shortages may occur when revenue deposited is less than revenue actually received or recorded or when the petty cash on hand is less than the amount assigned to the department.

  • The University will not tolerate theft, waste, or abuse of state, university, or university-related funds, property, or other resources through fraudulent means.
  • University employees should report suspected irregularities or possible fraudulent transactions to the Office of Audit, Risk, and Compliance, the Virginia Tech Police Department, or the State Employee Hotline.
  • All reported allegations will be fully reviewed; substantiated fraudulent activities will be reported to the proper authorities for prosecution.

When losses or shortages occur, you SHOULD:

  • Call the University Police or Office of Audit, Risk, and Compliance to report a theft or unauthorized removal of university property. If the property involves equipment, the Controller`s Office should be contacted.
  • Provide the auditors and/or police access to departmental employees and records during investigations.
  • Help auditors and/or security personnel secure departmental assets and records during investigations.
  • Implement necessary procedures to reasonably protect university assets from future losses of a similar nature.
  • If applicable, cooperate with the Department of Human Resources and Legal Counsel (231-6293) to determine and implement disciplinary action against employees and pursue recovery of damages.

When losses or shortages occur, you SHOULD NOT:

  • Conduct investigations to determine the total amount lost or to identify responsible parties.
  • Negotiate any settlement with employees who are suspected of theft.
  • Collect amounts owed to the university by employees as a result of theft.
  • Take any disciplinary action against an employee, other than suspension, before an investigation is complete.
  • Accept the resignation of any employee who is suspected of, under investigation of, or guilty of theft.

What to Look for:

  • One-time losses of university monies
  • A suspicious pattern of losses
  • Whenever an employee is suspected of theft of monies of property
  • Ensuring procedures are developed and maintained to safeguard university assets from theft or abuse either by employees or by outside parties
  • Ensuring procedures are developed and maintained for employees to identify when assets are lost and to report losses to their supervisors