Most business managers and owners are well aware of the threat of loss from outsiders, and use a variety of methods to reduce this risk. From locks on the doors, to security guards and dogs, to complex electronic burglar alarm systems, many preventative steps are taken. However, it is often the case that less attention is dedicated to reducing the risk of theft by an insider.
No one wants to believe that an employee would defraud the company of money deliberately. Most people want to trust their employees, and rightly so. But it only takes one bad apple to do significant damage.
Depending on the person’s position within the company, and the length of time the theft continues, substantial losses can result. Business owners often have a tendency to believe “it can’t happen here.” Unfortunately, employee fraud is quite common. Furthermore, no risk reduction measures can be guaranteed to keep it from ever happening or detect every instance.
Having said that, loss control experts recommend two general approaches to reducing vulnerability to theft by insiders: Measures to decrease the probability that employees will commit the crime, and measures to increase the perceived probability of discovery and punishment. Below are seven tips to help with both approaches:
In summary, to reduce the risk of insider theft, the employer’s position should be one of trusting employees in general not to steal, while at the same time being proactive about measures to help keep workers honest. Most employees will never engage in schemes to defraud, but unfortunately, there are always some who will. The dishonest employees are often the very people the employer would be least likely to suspect.
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