Reporting code of conduct violations in your company is always stressful, and when the person you suspect of ethics violations is as high-ranking as the company controller, it's even more stressful. Doing the right thing isn't always easy, but by following a few basic steps you can reduce the risk of retaliation and protect yourself. Knowing the code of conduct well, and knowing who to report the violations to, are essential first steps in preparing a complaint against a high-ranking company employee.
Gather proof of the wrongdoing, if at all possible. If you have paper evidence, make copies and leave a copy in a safe place. If your proof is something you saw or heard, prepare a written statement and date it. Get statements from other witnesses, if you can.
Contact your immediate supervisor, unless you believe your immediate supervisor is also involved in the violation. In most cases, the company controller reports to the chief financial officer, so the complaint will ultimately need to be made to the chief financial officer, or the person that the controller reports to if it's not the CFO. Having your supervisor on your side can be beneficial when the report escalates.
Make an appointment to meet with the CFO or the person to whom the controller reports. If your boss is supporting you, she can make the appointment for both of you. When you make the appointment, try to convey the urgency of the situation so you can get on their calendar quickly.
Present your evidence of code of conduct violations, along with the specific parts of the code of conduct that you believe have been violated. From here on, the CFO is responsible for pursuing the complaint, and you are done reporting the violation. You may be asked to repeat your testimony later, however.
- Do not make accusations of wrongdoing lightly. Make sure you have evidence to support any accusations you make. A false accusation against a high-ranking company employee will seriously harm your career.