Reducing Your Risk of Embezzlement
Everyone has heard the stories or knows someone who has been embezzled by a practice employee. The employee is often a seemingly trustworthy staff member who nobody would ever suspect, and in most cases people are shocked to hear that they could do such a thing when the fraud is discovered.
It is important you understand that every business owner with employees is exposed to at least some degree of embezzlement risk. Accordingly, all companies must employ operational procedures to mitigate this inherent risk which is always present.
How Can I Reduce My Risk?
1. Assess the effectiveness of your Internal Controls. Our firm assists our clients with the assessment of practice internal control by analyzing an Internal Control Survey where the owner responds to several questions reqarding office procedures.
2. Make changes to your office procedures based on your Internal Control assessment. Our firm will identify potential risk factors and offer suggested procedure changes based on our initial assessment. The practice owner then makes changes to certain procedures, taking into consideration their staffing level, operational considerations, and the feedback provided in our assessment.
3. Closely monitor your controls. Our firm provides a detailed Daily Office Close-Out Procedure which we encourage all of our clients to follow. With the owner or manager performing some oversight duties, splitting other duties between at least two staff members, and having our firm post transactions and perform an independent reconciliation of all bank and credit card accounts each month, our clients enjoy a robust segregation of duties and a lower risk of embezzlement.