Are your employees stealing from you? That is a form of business fraud.
If you own a business, of any size, did you ever consider that while you are working hard to make a living to support your family and staff, there are those that are also working very hard against your actions.
They are working hard at figuring out how to make their money stealing from you and your company rather than making it, honestly. These people have come to the realization that it is easier to steal your hard work than actually doing their own hard work.
Of course, they always have a justification for stealing. No person thinks they themselves are really dishonest; they instead feel they are a victim of unfortunate circumstances, of hard luck. Then, to justify their actions, they always end up finding some real or imaginary harm that was done to them to justify stealing from their employer or other organizations.
Some examples of real justifications business owners may hear:
1) My boss is underpaying me. I deserve more for my time and effort. I make him a fortune and he gives me nothing.
2) I needed money desperately. I just borrowed the money for a short period of time and planned on paying it back.
3) The rich steal all the time, I am just getting my share. They can afford it.
4) Those crooks at the bank are to blame. The banks took money from the government for bad loans but they are not using the money for the intended use. They are throwing me out onto the street.
A typical organization loses 5% of its annual revenue to fraud, with a median loss of $160,000 per firm in America.
Can you imagine a small business grossing $1 million per year having $50,000 in lost income from employee theft? While some of you might feel inclined to sympathize with the fraudulent employee, consider this: That $50K is probably close to what the owner is taking home for the year, after working a grueling 60 hour week, over and over again, as most do.
So, why does this keep happening, and in such rampant numbers?
Small business has the highest percentage of theft because they do not have systems in place to detect or prevent fraud and unfortunately, they place too much trust in their long-term employees.
Yes, you want to trust your employees, but think first. White collar crimes are the fastest growing crime area. It is my hard-won and repeatedly witnessed experience that 20% of the population (that’s 1 in 5 people!) would not think twice about stealing if the opportunity arose. Think about it. How many employees do you have? Are you willing to risk your profits in an exercise in trust?
That can be a very expensive blind eye to turn, in the end.
Talk to your CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner or other fraud prevention expert about actions you can take to look for this kind of loss or cut back on a substantial amount of crime that may exist within your company.
A few forward-thinking precautions and you’ll retain those drained profits for yourself and your employees both. Win win.
Theft is very common, if you have been involved in anyway please share your story with us and our readers.
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Image credit: Josh Rinehults iStock