How to lower the chances of employee theft: 5 things to know

NEW YORK – Small businesses reduce their risk of theft by employees or limiting of losses by the implementation of technological controls and checks and balances in their daily activities.

The thin staffing at small companies may make them vulnerable to theft. So, small businesses tend to be less advanced technology practices.

Five ways companies can protect themselves:

— Ensure that the responsibility for the finance does not rest with just one person, says Doug Karpp, senior vice president of insurer Hiscox. At the very least, “entrepreneurs should have their bank statements sent to their house instead of the business, and their accountants to review,” Karpp says.

— When a staff member quits or is fired, their access to the company computer and e-mail should be cut off immediately. Any passwords that they use should be changed. Owners may also want to consider having the pitchfork late in the day in which they are introduced.

“All the things that go hand-in-hand with the termination of an employee in a large company, a small company needs to think of,” says Shira Forman, an employment lawyer at Sheppard Mullin in New York.

— Watch out for suspicious behavior that could be a tipoff about stealing, says Rick Gibbs, a consultant for human resources provider Insperity. For example, consider a pitchfork who never takes holidays or days off. While they can be dedicated, they may also try to make sure that nobody else gets to fill in for them and see what they have done.

Surveillance cameras can discourage staff from stealing goods, Gibbs says. Even if a camera is not a deterrent, the owner can see who the thief was.

— If an owner suspects or is aware of a theft, they should contact a lawyer or HR provider to decide on the best cause of action. They should also take measures to minimize or stop the damage. In the case of a technologically-savvy staffer, an owner must ensure that the employee is not in a position to the damage of the systems of the company, the Man says.


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