Employee theft is a major concern many small and medium sized businesses must have to deal with. Statistics indicate that as much as 75% of employees have admitted to stealing from their employers at least once. While external theft is certainly an issue, the far majority of theft is conducted by a business’s actual employees. And it is not an innocuous crime. According to a 2016 report from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, internal theft costs small and medium sized businesses as much as $180 million every year. Obviously, the smaller the business, the greater the effect internal theft will have on it. Internal theft causes as much as 30% of small businesses to ultimately fail.
Is There Anything Small and Medium Sized Businesses Can Do to Combat Internal Theft?
In short, yes, small and medium sized business owners do have some tools to prevent theft. If you haven’t done so already, you should certainly consider hiring a private investigator in NYC or wherever you are located to conduct background checks and pre-employment screening. This will mitigate some of the risk, but you may still run into a situation where you have a feeling that you are being stolen from. This is where knowing the signs of internal theft will matter significantly. Here are a few things to look for:
An employee never wants to take off: In many cases, this is not a bad thing. Your employee could just be dedicated and committed to the success of the business. However, if you notice that you are losing money and an employee never takes off, this could mean he or she doesn’t want someone else to step into a role for a day or two and discover what they’re doing.
An employee appears to be living a more upscale lifestyle than you’re paying them for: Unless an employee won the lottery or received an inheritance, a new car and other big expenses should be looked at cautiously if there are other signs as well. Again, it could be a coincidence, but a private investigator in NYC could help you determine if those luxury items were paid for with your money.
You notice that your employee is really friendly with a vendor: Being friendly is not a crime in and of itself. However, if you begin to experience unaccounted for losses, it might be a good idea to take a closer look at your employees’ relationships with your vendors. If you see that one is a little tight, there could be a side deal going on. Again, this would be a good time to hire a private investigator in NYC to provide you with a full picture of what’s going on.