Our Guide to Protecting Your Business From Fraud
No business is safe from fraud! Although many think that fraud only involves large enterprises or global corporations that news programs report on, it actually occurs much more frequently on a smaller scale.
Not all business frauds include high-ranking executives embezzling funds, making headlines in every newspaper or program—they also happen to mom-and-pop stores and micro-enterprises. In fact, fraud often occurs in a quieter arena with a smaller bank balance and fewer employees.
Is Your Small Business At Risk of Fraud?
Contrary to what many think, small businesses provide an excellent opportunity to commit fraud. The financial strain, lack of resources and expertise, and rapid growth of small companies make it fairly easy for ill-intentioned people to take advantage of these companies.
No one wants to think that their employees would do anything to harm the company’s growth, but it is a possibility that you have to consider. Believing that you won’t fall victim to occupational fraud will only increase your chances of being involved in a fraudulent scheme!
Some would say that doubting your team harms the culture and morale of the company, but being cautious is crucial to your organisation’s success. If you begin to rely on trusted employees and don’t have proper controls in place, your business will become vulnerable to motivated fraudsters!
How to Prevent Fraud
There’s no way to control people’s thoughts and actions; you can’t stop your employees from wanting to commit fraud or planning to embezzle the company’s funds. Just because it’s near impossible to detect if you have a fraudster on your team doesn’t mean that you can’t protect your company—through a few ways, you can deter fraud and recognise it as soon as it happens!
As a small business owner, you have to be extra vigilant about fraud! Here are some ways you can protect your business from occupational fraud:
1. Learn About Your Employees
Are you sure you know enough about your employees? Unfortunately, many fraudsters manage to be hired in small businesses because of the lack of anti-fraud controls and policies. If you haven’t conducted a thorough background check on your employees yet, then start now!
More than being qualified, your employees must also be trustworthy! Don’t rely on your employees’ references and work history alone—make sure to check if they were involved in any suspicious and criminal activity just to be safe.
2. Hire an Accounting Expert
Fraud can happen in a variety of ways—your company could suffer from billing fraud, cash theft, check fraud, and fictitious vendor schemes, among others. Watching out for the warning signs of fraud on top of running a business isn’t easy; you’re bound to miss a few things here and there.
However, if you invest in accounting and bookkeeping services, you’ll be able to dramatically decrease the chances of being involved in a fraudulent scheme. A business accountant can protect your company from any type of fraud and even help you establish anti-fraud policies and procedures.
3. Protect Your Data
Don’t leave your computer network vulnerable to cyberthreats—set up a cyber protection program in place so that your data won’t be stolen and taken advantage of to extort money. Make sure to have a sturdy firewall, install antivirus software, and work with a cyber protection professional to keep your files and confidential information safe.
Anyone can fall victim to fraud—especially your small business! If you want your company to thrive and survive for the years to come, you must employ the necessary anti-fraud policies and precautions. As long as you remain sceptical and careful, your business won’t have to suffer from any losses.
Do you want to protect your business from fraud? Then let our skilled business accountants and bookkeepers at New Wave help you! We provide end-to-end accounting and bookkeeping services that help scale & grow businesses with tailored solutions. Contact us today to learn more!