Employee theft and fraud is a major expense to businesses of all sizes. Theft and fraud cost US businesses somewhere from $20 to $50 billion every year in the form of embezzlement, larceny, payroll schemes, and more. And that’s just theft caused by employees. Loss from external factors is even greater, and as you factor in cyber-crime, IP theft, shoplifting, and other forms of theft and fraud, the costs become astronomical.
From funds diverted electronically to equipment stolen from the premises, there are plenty of tech solutions that help businesses clamp down on loss.
Restrict Physical Access to Equipment or Inventory
The quickest way to cut down on opportunities for theft is to restrict physical access. Even better than keeping valuables under lock and key is an ID card system that lets employees swipe to unlock access.
You can program the system to create different levels of access and monitor who can access an area at any given time. If you’re losing equipment or inventory, you can cross-reference the date and time with your record of who had access to the area where the loss occurred.
Wear and tear on swipe cards is a concern for some businesses, especially when they’re issuing ID cards in high volumes. Share tips on how to avoid damaging magnetic swipe cards with staff and provide security accessories like lanyards or ID badge holders to make sure their cards stay in good condition.
Change Your Passwords Regularly
Another important step to reduce loss is to restrict employees’ access to information such as customer data, accounting information, and passwords.
In cases where you have to trust employees to manage company finances, it’s important to set up internal controls. For example, if only one person manages all accounting information, there is no internal control preventing fraud.
Instead, those responsibilities should be shared by a team or rotated between employees. Meanwhile, passwords should be changed often enough to ensure that employees who shouldn’t have access to company finances don’t get their hands on it.
Restricting physical access may not be enough. There are always ways in. Keys or access cards can also be stolen (although with an access ID card, once it’s reported stolen, the access granted to the card can be removed).
Camera surveillance can help you identify those who are committing physical theft, especially when used in conjunction with access records from an access ID system.
Implement Inventory Software
Inventory shrinkage is a costly problem, and 44% of inventory shrinkage is caused by employees. While surveillance can help identify perpetrators after the fact, an inventory software solution can help you deter the problem from the start.
Inventory software helps you keep closer track of inventory without becoming intrusive on workers’ jobs or the customer experience. Loss prevention is meant to take place “in the background,” and software lets you do that.
Theft and fraud can be confronted, and businesses of all sizes should take steps to protect themselves.