At Systematic Inquiry Group, we not only provide Orange County businesses with corporate investigation services to hunt down and prosecute employee theft and fraud, we also help prevent internal security threats in the first place with an array of preventative security services like our Food Cost Program and Monthly Security Assurance.
As another year draws to a close and you begin to look ahead to 2016, keep these tips in mind to reduce your risk of employee theft, fraud, and embezzlement.
Eliminate opportunities for theft
One of the best ways to keep employees from stealing is to simply deprive them of the opportunity. While some people will find a way to steal no matter what, most are more opportunistic and will not steal if they think there’s a good chance of getting caught. In retail and restaurant settings, always make sure there are two people opening and closing, preferably not the same pair each time. Switch it up regularly. Make a policy that a manager or supervisor must sign off on refunds or voided transactions and stick to it.
In an office setting, never let anyone have complete control of financial matters. There should always be oversight and an expectation that the books will be reviewed for discrepancies, from business trip expenses to vendor receipts.
Always run a quality background check
It’s important to not only background check employees, but also ensure that background check is comprehensive. Online database checks can be extremely hit-or-miss, so it’s much more effective to leave this task to a private investigator. You’d be amazed at some of the major red flags we have found on prospective employees that would have been completely missed by an online background check.
Embrace surveillance technology
These days, there’s no excuse not to use the surveillance tools at your disposal. This can range from closed circuit video surveillance to inventory management systems. Surveillance can help you catch and prosecute a criminal (either an employee or an outside threat) but it can also deter crime. Going back to opportunity, people are less likely to steal if they think someone might be watching.
Give employees a way to speak up about theft
Finally, it’s important to create a culture of honesty in your business. Let your employees know that you are on their side and you want them on yours. Honest employees get discouraged when they see dishonesty go unpunished, so make it clear that you take employee theft seriously and will prosecute. Set up a tip hotline or another way for employees to discreetly report dishonest activity, and consider offering a reward for tips that lead to catching a thief.
Photo by photostock via freedigitalphotos.net