We have all heard about it. There have been cases where a ‘trusted employee’ has been defrauding a business – often for a long period of time.
Generally speaking, employees found to be fraudulent share some of the following characteristics:
- Keep control over everything and are unwilling to share duties
- They are guarded and unwilling to allow their work to be checked/reviewed
- Are extremely trusted and perform multiple roles within the business
- Do not take long holidays or use up their full years annual leave
- May be living beyond their means or have financial difficulties
- Have a problem with drugs, alcohol or gambling
To minimise your chance of being caught out
- Receive monthly management reports – I have heard of a couple of cases where the internal admin/bookkeeper has been almost 12 months behind in their accounts, which is surprising, as this was their core duty!
- Have separation of duties – Separate the entry of data tasks from the final approval of payments. When someone does the everything, no-one is checking their work.
- Put in place checks and balances to make sure all income from sales have been accounted for or that stock isn’t being stolen.
- Don’t hand out your personal passwords for emails, banking etc. If they need access to something such as internet banking, invite them in as a user only so you have ultimate/final control.
- Ensure staff take holidays or some tasks are rotated or regularly reviewed.
- Have KPI’s to report on, so you can see they are doing what they should and there are reports/evidence to back it up.
- Regularly change passwords for your emails, internet banking and other relevant areas. If someone has had access in the past, this will stop it.
- Ensure you, as the director or owner of the business, are aware of what is happening in the business. It is your responsibility and it can’t be passed onto someone else.
At Evolve Online Bookkeeping, we do the following to minimise any issues:
- Send you monthly management reports
- Separate data entry and upload of bank of payments with the final authorisation of payment
- Review our team members work
- Have secure password protection. If we have a login to a supplier or other account, this information is not available to all team members. Only management can access this information and set up the login with our secure password protection software.
- Encourage use of routine checks and reconciliations to pick up evidence of fraud in your business. Examples such as this are ‘Daily Takings Sheets’ used in businesses that sell goods and take cash, EFTPOS, and other methods of payments.
We also talk to you about what administrative processes you have in place to reduce fraud risks. Not only do we look after your bookkeeping, payroll, BAS preparation, Xero integration and setup, but we also aim to minimise your administration headaches too. Please don’t hesitate to talk to us if ever you need a professional and trusted bookkeeper in Sunshine Coast, or if you have any concerns in your business.