Business losses due to crime can take many forms, and unfortunately one of these is employee theft. Employee theft can be problematic to businesses of any size. Employee theft can take place in many forms, such as larceny, skimming, fraudulent disbursements, embezzlement of raw materials or inventory or stealing business opportunities. The following guidelines may reduce the risk to your business:
- Monitor cash register activities to ensure proper operation. Do not allow employees to handle any transactions or sales to themselves, close friends or family.
- Establish a very clear employee discount and fringe benefit policy.
- Monitor business activity and income patterns over time to see if income has dropped during a particular period.
- Keep an accurate inventory system and have it checked regularly by someone other than the person responsible for it.
- Sign all tools and equipment in and out.
- Separate opertions from accounting; double-check all transactions.
- Keep accurate records on movements of cash and goods from the time they enter your business until they leave.
- Exercise strict key control for access to business premises, storerooms, and display areas.
- Reduce the risk of goods being carried out through trash, empty boxes, through windows and inside personal belongings by having an established checking procedure that all staff members know and understand.
- Have employees park away from the building to reduce access to personal vehicles where goods may be hidden. Employees' personal belongings should be stored in a safe place with limited access, away from merchandise that can be concealed easily.
Stopping theft is a team effort. Speak with employees about your business’ protocols to ensure everyone is on the same page. Be open to answering any questions or concerns and praise employees who adhere to protocols or who report security problems. Enforcing rules and dealing with dishonesty swiftly can set a powerful precedent among staff.