Here’s a sobering stat: The average case of employee fraud goes on for two years before the victimized employer catches wind of it.
That’s what the Texas-based anti-fraud trade group, Certified Fraud Examiners, has found.
So, while you want to believe none of your employees would stoop low enough to steal, you want to stay vigilant should any of these red flags turn up.
Here are two common signs that fraudulent employees frequently exhibit:
1. Their numbers are off. If something strikes you as even a little odd with an employee’s time sheet, expense report, etc., it’s worth it to investigate. For example: When a manager at an Iowa-based company noticed that one subordinate handed in a time card for more hours worked than were physically possible, she could’ve written off the incident as a simple mistake. Instead, however, she did a little digging and found out that the employee had been extending his actual hours for months.
To prevent this problem in the future, all supervisors at the company are now required to review — and sign — employees time-cards before they can be processed.
2. They complain about money on a regular basis. According to the ACFE, many cases of employee fraud are caused by financial pressure. It’s a good idea for managers to keep tabs on employees who do an inordinate amount of complaining when it comes to their personal finances. And, if the complaints from a normally vocal complainer suddenly stop without warning, there may be good reason to be suspicious.
Has your firm ever been a victim of employee fraud? What safeguards do you have in place to prevent it in the future? Share your tactics with us in the Comments section.