3rd October, 2014

Is employee fraud a threat in your business?

Every business owner knows that their staff are their biggest asset. Not only are wages likely to be your biggest expense, but workers will often be key to expanding and growing your company. 

While staff are a big deal for companies and individuals, it is also important to understand the risks that come with this relationship. Employee fraud is one such risk – with companies at constant danger of being ripped off by unscrupulous employees.

A 2012 survey from KPMG into employee fraud illustrated this problem clearly. The firm found that 43 per cent of companies surveyed across Australia and New Zealand have experienced fraud, with three-quarters of this caused by internal perpetrators.

While this may seem alarmingly high, there are a few steps companies can take to increase their resilience to employee fraud.

Create internal controls

In the KPMG survey, the main reason companies identified for their inability to prevent fraud was a lack of internal controls. In fact, nearly half (47 per cent) of fraud in Australia and New Zealand happened because of insufficient internal controls on employee behaviour.

On top of effective monitoring, keeping different financial processes separate can ensure that no one employee has too much influence over company accounts. Employees who are behaving fraudulently will often choose not to go on holidays and keep their work very secretive, which makes mandatory breaks another easy way to prevent criminal behaviour from developing.

Take out business insurance

One of the best ways to protect against employee theft is to invest in an insurance policy that protects against this behaviour. For those seeking business insurance in Perth, making sure that this covers areas like fraud and theft is going to be essential for keeping your business safe.

Include awareness training

Often the best way to spot fraud within your organisation is through your other staff members. After all, if one employee is behaving fraudulently, there are likely to be signs that others in the company can pick up on.

Of course, the only way for individuals to know whether there is fraud going on in the workplace is to be trained in the common features of criminal behaviour. This should involve regular training so that staff are aware of the warning signs and know who to approach if they spot suspicious activity.

Preventing employee fraud in your business doesn't have to be difficult and when done well can help to keep your business secure and growing.

Author: Murray Bruce