Accountant confidentiality regarding the correction of fraudulent entries


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A close friend in Sweden confided in me regarding an ethical dilemma she would like to clean up, but wants to assess the risk. She has a small, 3 person consulting company and uses an outside accountancy to manage the books. The total sales of her company are about $200,000. She travels a lot on business, and makes a monthly reconciliation of her travel expenses with a trip report that she submits to her accountant each month. At some point in 2019 she entered about $900 of expenses as business related and wrote up a phony trip report, when they were really personal expenses. Within the next couple of weeks, the outside accountant will finish up a draft of the 2019 books, which will then be sent to an outside auditor, which is required for all Swedish companies, large or small. My friend would like to come clean with the accountant, admit the mistake and error in judgement, and make the proper financial adjustments to the books (which would transfer the $900 from a business travel expense to personal income) and then pay up the additional income and social taxes that would be due, prior to sending the books to the outside auditor. She knows this is the right thing to do, but is concerned that, although she has had a great relationship with the outside accountant for many years, the accountant may be compelled to spill the beans on her, either with the outside auditor, or worse, directly to the Swedish tax authorities. While it may be difficult to comment on Swedish accountant/client confidentiality issues, in general would you recommend that she come clean with the accountant, or, conscience be dammed, take her chances with the outside audit as is?
 
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Werner Reisacher

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Difficult for an outsider to assess the reaction of her Accountant to the dilemma your friend is in. Having included personal expenses in a company travel expense report is not correct but as such, an error she can explain. But having supported such expenses with a "supporting" fake trip report could lead to more than a tax problem.
Considering this fact, her best choice is to come clean before somebody else finds out. She should declare that she submitted this trip report by error and that she made this error due to time pressure.
 
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Joined
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Difficult for an outsider to assess the reaction of her Accountant to the dilemma your friend is in. Having included personal expenses in a company travel expense report is not correct but as such, an error she can explain. But having supported such expenses with a "supporting" fake trip report could lead to more than a tax problem.
Considering this fact, her best choice is to come clean before somebody else finds out. She should declare that she submitted this trip report by error and that she made this error due to time pressure.
Many thanks for your comment on this.
 

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