Keeping your small business safe from third party theft makes perfect sense – but what about from your own employees? An alarming study shows that at least 75 percent of employees have stolen from their employers. How can you avoid being part of the statistic? Here’s how:
Run a Strict Pre-employment Routine
The best way to prevent theft in the business is to hire trustworthy employees. This can be done by having a stringent pre-employment routine that keeps the dishonest out. Ask for references, credit checks, and criminal checks if needed. The rule is that positions of trust should have stricter pre-employment guidelines to minimize the possibility of inside theft.
Hire a Third-party Bookkeeper
Prevent the possibility of conspiracy among your employees by hiring a third party to keep your books for you. This is actually better in the long run as an independent bookkeeper is less expensive than having an accountant full time. Independent accountants and auditors are also more likely to spot problems in your books or inventory system – and even more likely to report them to you.
Use a POS System
A point of sales system makes it incredibly easy for you to monitor and control all the transactions that happens in the business. The beauty of POS is that it can be limited or expanded based on the user. Hence, some employees may be able to view inventory but not change it. They can view the financial statements but not edit the same. It can also create an electronic signature that tells you which employees made specific transactions and so on. While at it, install cameras in your place of business for added security.
Pay Close Attention to Write Offs
Product theft is a possibility that often happens at the end zone. Products might be scurried away at the back door and then written off in the inventory because it has gone “bad” or is “damaged”. To prevent this from happening, create a streamlined trash disposal system that keeps your employees honest. For example, randomize the schedule of people who will be taking out the trash. Use clear trash bags instead of opaque black ones and so on.
Create Checks and Balances
Theft may occur in a business if employees are given complete control over specific transactions. For example, if your cashier is the same person who takes care of the books – then it becomes very easy for them to set aside a few dollars each day for personal use. This is why dividing responsibilities is crucial, thereby ensuring that there are checks and balances to each transaction. A good technique is by having a supervisor or manager approve every cash disbursement, refund, return, or any other transaction other than a sale. Creating a buddy system will also make it easier for them to keep each other honest.
Establish Good Relations
Finally, make a point of treating your employees with fairness. While you’re not supposed to be their best friend, you’re not the enemy either. Treat them with respect and give them what they deserve so that they’ll treat you and the business with honesty.