Like a see-saw, as the economy plunges downward, employee fraud skyrockets — especially in small, private firms.
The reasons for employee fraud are many and varied, but there are certain safeguards that can help keep your company safe:
- Double-check finances. Even if you have a trusted bookkeeper, it doesn’t hurt to take another look yourself. From bank statements to signed checks, making sure nothing is amiss can help save a lot of anguish down the road.
- Beef-up security. People steal less when they feel as though others are watching. Installing security cameras around cash-heavy areas in the office is a great way to keep employee theft down.
- Random audits. Enlisting an outside accountant to come in and periodically perform surprise audits of your books will decrease the chance fraudulent employees have to cover up their tracks.
- Get staffers involved. Often, employees have a good notion when something is going on in the office but keep silent for fear of retaliation. The more comfortable and safe staffers feel about the reporting process, the more likely they’ll be to help out. One option: Create a system (hot line, e-mail program, etc.) where employees can report suspicious activity anonymously.