Whether you’re concerned about external or internal fraud, you can only do so much to prevent and control it.
The situation, however, is not as dire as it may sound. Although fraud is a complex issue, we can help you with some simple fixes and in the aftermath of fraud.
As you look to prevent fraud in your business, consider these starting points:
- Utilize employee screening. While background checks, drug screenings, and references don’t cover all potential cases, they can mitigate the risk of fraud. Some companies also rely on credit checks, but the results may not be indicative of an individual’s propensity to commit fraud. Employee screening can help you make hiring decisions that may reduce the risk of hiring someone who does not have the best of intentions.
- Develop a code of conduct. You probably have an employee handbook, but does it lay out the employee code of conduct? This is a series of requirements for day-to-day interactions that will have consequences if breached. For instance, a code of conduct may spell out your company’s dedication to eliminating abusive behavior in the office. You can include items that relate to fraud. Have all employees sign this code of conduct when they begin work or every time you make changes.
- Watch for changes in behavior. Is a good employee suddenly struggling? Are you noticing changes in the way the person interacts with other team members or managers? Sudden changes in behavior can indicate that there are problems with employees. Jumping to the conclusion that employees are willing to commit fraud may be excessive, but it’s worth keeping your eye on those employees or even having a discussion with them before it becomes a problem.
- Establish checks and balances. Bigger risks for fraud are inherent in certain departments, so it is important to ensure that no single employee has sole responsibility of these areas. For example, your bookkeeper shouldn’t be in charge of all aspects of accounting; others should be able to check the math and verify that everything is correct.
- Create technical protections. Internet security and fraud protection are big business, and for good reason. Rather than spending your time and resources creating systems that you’re not trained to maintain, work with a professional who can determine how to best use technology to increase data safety and secure your finances.
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If you have questions or concerns about fraud at your company, contact us today to learn how to protect your business.