Businesses of all sizes deal with the serious threat of employee theft every day. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the extent of employee fraud and theft causes almost a third of all business failures. Business owners should be concerned, as employee misdeeds are costly and create significant liabilities. The following strategies can help prevent your employees from diverting business funds, embezzling money, or stealing from the company.
1. Thoroughly Vet Employees
In addition to using background checks for all new employees, get to know your employees and look for signs of potentially fraudulent or criminal behavior. Common signs include lifestyles that exceed the salary level, substance abuse, volunteering to work late unsupervised, and objection to policy changes that involved inventory or finances.
2. Establish Financial Processes
Theft prevention must be an offensive strategy and limiting access to cash is one way to make it more difficult for employees to steal. Use purchase orders that are pre-numbered and make sure each order is verified. Use pre-numbered receipts for these as well, and make sure weekly audits balance out register receipts and sales sips.
3. Guard the Technology
Computer systems or programs can be manipulated but changing passwords and entry codes periodically can limit access. Keep control of access to computer terminals and records and conduct regular reporting to watch for misuse.
These internal procedures can make it more difficult for employees to steal from your company. Theft prevention is the responsibility of everyone in the workplace, but these tips are a place to start.