Nearly 72 percent of U.S. federal actions involving employee theft in 2014 involved small businesses – organizations with fewer than 500 employees, according to the 2015 Hiscox Embezzlement Watchlist. Within that group, four of every five victim organizations had fewer than 100 employees, and more than half had fewer than 25 employees.

More than 40 percent of thefts were committed by an employee in the finance or accounting function, and 35 percent of cases involved multiple schemes. Women orchestrated the majority of actions across the data set, but their thefts resulted in a median loss of $243,447 – nearly 30-percent less than their male counterparts.

The study found that financial services companies such as banks, credit unions and insurance companies are at greatest risk – 21 percent of employee thefts happened in this sector. Other organizations frequently struck by employee theft are non-profits (11 percent), municipalities (10 percent) and labor unions (9 percent).