No matter the size of your business, it’s not immune to fraud. However, a small business is especially vulnerable because it lacks resources to monitor and prevent fraudulent activities. A lot of these activities happen internally, usually perpetrated by employees and business partners who have been with the business for a long time. Fraudulent activities are even harder to detect before considerable financial losses have taken place. Thankfully, small businesses can reduce their risk of fraud if they have a reliable Accountant in White Plains handling their finances. If you own a small business, here are tips you can keep in mind to prevent fraud:
Install Internal Accounting Control Measures
Often, fraud is perpetrated by employees who have access to the accounting operations and bank accounts of businesses. Activities such as supplier billing fraud and fraudulent invoicing often involve employees who handle invoicing and payment functions. You can prevent this kind of fraud by spearing the accounting functions, reviewing and approving all invoices, as well as having certified fraud examiners perform an annual internal accounting audit.
Know Your People
When you hire new employees, you undergo background and reference checks with previous employers. Established workers who become financially burdened or disgruntled are more likely to perpetrate fraud. Once you hire employees, pay close attention to them and watch out for any changes in their personal circumstances, productivity, or temperament. You can discover potential red flags when you conduct one-on-one meetings and reviews regularly. Also, employees can be trained to spot suspicious behaviors like phishing emails.
Have an Anti-Fraud Policy in Place
Educating your employees about fraud can reduce your risk of experiencing it. Notify your employees that your company does not tolerate fraud. During discussions, make it clear that preventing fraud is essential in keeping the business strong. Your anti-fraud policy should outline the kinds of fraud and the position of your organization on how it will handle them. Also, it should include a code of conduct for employees, a management review process of fraud-sensitive activities, as well as fraud education and training.
Keep Your Records Detailed and Secure
Missing or disorganized documents allow people to easily fabricate inventory records and tamper transaction reports. Thus, you can prevent these criminals from conducting their fraudulent activities by keeping your business and financial information organized.
In addition, money that comes in and goes out must be recorded. Inventory reports should also be updated constantly. Think about conducting random audits periodically to prevent criminals from having time to modify reports.