Fraud committed by employees is a severe problem for businesses of all sizes. Based on statistics, employee fraud costs businesses in the United States $50 billion annually. Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely prevent employee fraud from happening. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of employee fraud and make it more difficult for employees to steal from your company. Here are five tips to help you do just that.
1. Conduct Background Checks
One of the best ways to prevent employee fraud is to conduct thorough background checks on all job applicants. This will help you weed out applicants with a history of fraud or other criminal activity. If you find that an applicant has a criminal record, don’t be afraid to ask them about it. If they have been arrested for fraud or embezzlement, they should tell you about it. If they don’t disclose this information, don’t hire them. Also, you may want to consider running a criminal background check on all current employees. This will help ensure that no one has a criminal history that you don’t already know about.
2. Implement an Anti-Fraud Policy
Another way to prevent employee fraud is to implement an anti-fraud policy at your company. This policy should outline what constitutes fraud and the consequences for employees who engage in fraudulent activity. Be sure to communicate the policy to all employees and post it in a prominent location at your workplace.
When you’re putting together this policy, it’s essential to consider what types of fraud are most common in the industry that you work in. For example, if your company sells products on credit, you may want to include a section about employees who commit identity theft or help customers commit fraud.
The policy should also outline the steps that you take to prevent fraud. For example, you can require employees to submit paperwork for every purchase made on behalf of your company and make sure that this documentation is signed by both parties involved in the transaction. In addition, consider implementing an electronic payment system that tracks all transactions and flags any suspicious activity.
3. Separate Duties
One way to make it more difficult for employees to commit fraud is to separate duties among different employees. For example, the employee who handles incoming payments should not also be responsible for issuing refunds. By dividing duties, you’ll make it more difficult for employees to commit fraud without being caught.
This can be done by creating a system in which multiple people are involved in approving a transaction, such as an electronic payment system that requires two signatures on a check. This ensures that no one person has sole control over the money, reducing the likelihood of fraud occurring.
This is an effective system because it makes it more difficult for dishonest employees to commit fraud and get away with it. While it may seem like an inconvenience, separating duties is an effective way to reduce the likelihood of employee theft or embezzlement.
4. Monitor Financial Statements Closely
Another way to prevent employee fraud is to monitor your company’s financial statements closely. Look for any irregularities or discrepancies that could indicate fraudulent activity. If you suspect that fraud has been committed, be sure to investigate immediately. If you fail to investigate, or if you don’t investigate thoroughly enough, your company could be held responsible for any financial losses that occurred as a result of the employee’s illegal actions.
When monitoring financial statements, this also goes for bank transactions and payroll. If you notice any suspicious activity with your company’s bank account or payroll records, investigate immediately. A fraud detection software for banks can help you to detect fraud and prevent losses. In addition, if you use a software solution for fraud detection, regularly review your data and test the tool’s accuracy by providing it with false data. This will ensure that your system is working correctly and can detect fraudulent activity when it occurs.
5. Educate Your Employees About Fraud Prevention
Finally, one of the best ways to prevent employee fraud is to educate your employees. Teach them about the signs of fraud and how to report it if they suspect that someone at your company is committing fraud. You can also provide information about the consequences of engaging in fraudulent activity, such as termination and criminal charges. This is because employees are often the first line of defense against fraud. They are in a position to see signs of fraud and can report them. By educating your employees about fraud prevention, you can help reduce the risk of employee fraud occurring in your company.
Employee fraud is a severe problem that can have devastating consequences for businesses of all sizes. As an employer, it’s essential to have a strategy to prevent employee fraud before it happens. By conducting background checks, implementing an anti-fraud policy, separating duties, monitoring financial statements closely, and educating your employees about fraud prevention, you can help protect your business from this type of crime.