9 clues to employee deceit

No, that suit doesn’t make you look fat.

Sometimes you can get by with small lies without it making a big difference. At other times – such as in answering “Can we account for all the money we’re taking in?” – lies can be disastrous.

During the recent American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Not-for-Profit-Industry Conference, Nancy Young of accounting firm Moss Adams discussed the types of untruths people practice and methods of detecting them. Although there is no sure-fire way of catching every lie, Young said there are nine clues to deceit that can be helpful in getting to the truth.

The nine clues are:

  • Micro-expressions. These are involuntary expressions that pass across the face in as little at 1/25 of a second.
  • Squelched expressions. These are techniques meant to cover up other expressions (smiles, for instance).
  • Reliable muscle patterns. These expressions are not easy to control (such as a genuine frown).
  • Blink rates. Often people blink more frequently during lies than during the truth.
  • Pupil dilations. Large dilations reveal emotions that the person cannot conceal.
  • Tears. These only show that someone is feeling strongly about something and should not sway the observer.
  • Asymmetrical expressions. These usually show that the expression is being made deliberately.
  • Timing. This should be the same with facial and body expressions.
  • Duration. This should not be more than five seconds, 10 at the most, to be genuine.