Elizabeth McIntosh was so highly regarded by management at the Arnold Clark showrooms in Paisley's Phoenix Retail Park that she was able to cover up her crime.
But she was exposed when her department was picked at random for an internal audit.
Paisley Sheriff Court heard McIntosh, formerly in charge of the service department of the Vauxhall dealership, filtered away payments made in cash and raised false credit notes to balance the books.
She altered receipts and destroyed others as she took more and more money.
Detectives were called in when auditors began to realise something was wrong.
The court was told she could now face being pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the £13,800 involved.
McIntosh, formerly of Kilcreggan View, Greenock, and now of Copeland Road, Ibrox, Glasgow, pleaded guilty to embezzling the sum from the company while employed there as a receptionist between November 2004 and February last year.
It was stated she had been so well thought of by bosses that she was a supervisory receptionist who did not need to report directly to management.
She was aware that under normal circumstances accounts would not be regularly scrutinised by her colleagues.
She had held the position for 10 years. McIntosh was ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service.