Fraud and theft can seriously harm a business, regardless of the size of scale of the business. A large business could lose significant sums of money but a small business may lose enough money that it could be wiped out in a short period of time. This means it is essential for all businesses to be aware of theft and fraud in the workplace.
It can be difficult for firms to implement anti-fraud strategies, because it will inevitably cause some discomfort and displeasure in the workplace. A business trying to implement anti-fraud strategies will find that employees will take this as an accusation that they are committing fraud. While some members of the team may be committing fraud, there will be many others who aren’t and who will take great offence at the accusation. Sadly, for a business to ensure that they are taking sufficient action in the battle against fraud, they need to implement measures that some employees will find too far-reaching or heavy handed. This is unfortunate but there isn’t a great deal that a company can do about.
Firms need to be Savvy in their Actions
This means that any fraud prevention process needs to be introduced alongside a PR campaign, indicating the importance of minimising fraud and pointing out that every employee has a part of play. If a company is able to persuade employees that jobs will be at risk if fraud is committed, it will create a stronger mentality against theft and fraud in the workplace. It can sometimes feel as though people don’t take theft in the workplace too seriously but when the full implications of this sort of activity are laid out, it becomes something that most employees are likely to get behind.
Some of the most common steps that businesses take to reduce their risk of fraud include:
- Set up an internal control of money and cash-equivalents (tokens, cards etc)
- Undertake inventory control
- Separate duties with respect to financial and accounting roles
- Reconcile bank accounts on a monthly basis
- Under auditing process of financial statements
- Undertake monthly reviews of payrolls
Some of these steps and processes are easier to implement than others but they can all have a hugely positive impact when it comes to making the workplace a safer place. Any business that feels as though they need additional space with respect to any of these areas, they’ll find that there is no shortage of external companies and partners who are willing to provide services.
Saving Money can justify Spending Money on Fraud Prevention
However, this costs money and there will be plenty of firms who don’t want to spend any money at all, even though the benefits that come from reducing fraud will be more than enough to justify expenditure. There is a great deal to be said for looking at the bigger picture when it comes to safeguarding your business but even if you are loathed to spend money, you’ll find that there are ways in which you can reduce the risk of fraud.
By carrying out weekly or monthly inventory checks, you will find it much easier to spot if stock is going missing or being misappropriated. There is also the fact that if you publicise the fact that you are undertaking inventory control, people will be less likely to steal from you. A lot of fraud prevention is in issuing threats and warnings. There is no doubt that prevention is far more effective when it is in clear view so if you are looking to implement a new inventory control system, publicise this fact and ensure that all employees are aware of the new method of working.
There is also a lot to be said for ensuring that no one individual has too much responsibility or power within a certain area of the work. This can be difficult for small businesses who often rely on an individual for so many aspects of the working day, but this creates the opportunity for people to commit fraud.
It is far better for a workplace to have a number of people who can carry out roles, and to ensure that certain tasks or actions are split up into separate tasks. This will make it harder for one individual to carry out fraud, which has to be seen as a positive thing for any business.
Tackling fraud in the workplace is possible but it is vital that businesses take steps to minimise their risk.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.