Did you know U.S. businesses lose an estimated $50 billion due to employee theft? The sad reality is that employee theft has even been known to cause businesses to go bankrupt. Whether you own a small or large business, it’s essential that you keep track of your company’s assets. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to hire reliable, trustworthy people that will not steal from you. Since employee fraud is an ongoing issue in the business world, let’s take a look at the signs of employee fraud and how you can prevent this issue in the first place.
Fraud Warning Signs
It can be difficult to identify signs of employee fraud, especially when you are busy running a business. However, there are some common signs that may warrant taking a closer look at your employees.
Common signs of employee fraud:
- Has financial difficulties
- Does not come to work regularly
- Lives beyond their means
- Uses petty cash too quickly
- Uses office supplies too quickly
- Avoids taking vacations
- Spends a lot of money during work trips
Inconsistent Company Policies
If you have discovered employee fraud at your business, the next step is to address how this happened and how you can prevent it from happening in the future. It’s important to take a look at your current approach towards preventing issues like this. Do you have management in charge of reviewing and monitoring employees in their department? Perhaps there is someone in your company that is ignoring these rules and thus allowing fraud to take place. No matter what the cause, it’s imperative that you stay consistent with your company policies for being honest and ethical in the workplace.
Your business can benefit from conducting anti-fraud meetings that train employees about your policies towards fraud and what to look for in case an employee suspects a co-worker of doing something suspicious. These meetings should emphasize your company’s core values and highlight the importance of being honest with each other and as a whole. Management can be taught how to enforce anti-fraud policies, which will help ensure that everyone is doing their part to maintain a company culture that upholds honesty and integrity.
Keep Track of Assets
When it comes to money, it’s helpful to keep track of any petty cash that’s available to employees. While most employees will use this money responsibly, there are some that will find this tempting and use it for non-work related things. Indeed, it’s best to keep petty cash in a secured location and only provide it after an employee submits a request to use it and receives approval for the request.
Separate Financial Tasks
A helpful recommendation to keep track of employees is to separate financial tasks among different workers. Have one person write and sign checks, another person can mail them out to vendors, and a third person can keep an ongoing record of all the mailed out checks. By knowing who is assigned to a specific task, this makes it easier to identify any suspicious activity regarding your internal finances.
Private Investigators Can Help
While the tips above are helpful when you discover fraud, the best thing to do is prevent fraud in the first place. The best way to do this is by conducting background checks on all potential employees. You can hire a licensed private investigator who is highly trained at conducting thorough background checks for a wide range of clients, including businesses that are hiring new people. A background check will find key information about a person’s past and help you determine if they will be reliable, trustworthy, and professional at your business.
Background Checks Will Review a Person’s:
- Criminal records
- Credit reports
- Educational records
- Job history
- MVR (motor vehicle records) reports
Indeed, employee background checks can save you time, money, and energy by hiring reliable workers that are the best fit for your business. With the majority of businesses using background checks to screen potential employees, it’s not surprising that this is a wise investment to avoid making costly mistakes with bad hires. If you are looking for the best Florida private investigators, contact PATRIOT Backgrounds and Investigations today. We are your one stop shop for everything from fraud investigations to background checks and much more.