Protect Your Organization from Employee Theft

When people think of the theft of business property, inventory, or any other assets they often think of shoplifters not employees. Many have a false sense of security and don’t want to believe employees steal more than shoplifters. The reality is that millions of dollars each year is under siege by sticky finger employees. Statistics show that anywhere between 20 and 40 million dollars are stolen every year, which makes you wonder why more is not done about this problem. Noticeably the losses experienced by businesses increases during times of economic uncertainly, but most employee theft has less to do with need and more to do with opportunity. If you give your employees opportunities to steal they will.

Amazingly, in some cases of employee theft business owners, managers, & human resources are embarrassed by the theft and refuse to prosecute as a result. Often employees who admit to theft are simply fired with no further action. Many would agree that taking no action against employees who steal is not the greatest idea. Other employees are watching what happens in these situations and if the “culture” of the organization is to accept theft in the workplace, then the situation could turn into a “free for all” and nobody wants that to happen.
The theft of a few office supplies has grown to theft of thousands of dollars in inventory, cash and or, time and businesses should take notice. Though many believe totally getting rid of employee theft is next to impossible, there are ways organizations can help prevent theft in the workplace.
One of the first things a business can do is think of all the ways employees can steal from them. In order to put proper controls in place, you must understand what’s at risk and how the items at risk can be protected. Next have round table discussions with current employees about theft of company assets. Employees may already know of shortcuts in the organization’s internal controls. Business owners and managers may be surprised with the information that is revealed during these discussions. “Good” employees want to help the organization with this problem especially if you simply ask. Last make it as difficult as possible for employees to steal. It’s really that simple.

If you believe your organization is at risk it probably is. There is still time to protect business assets even if employees have stolen in the past. Immediate action will be required to help save a business and possibly increase profits. Remember it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect company assets…

Written By:
Janell McDougald
Author of “Watch Out They’re Stealing” 100+ Ways to Understand, Identify, & Prevent Employee Theft

Help protect your profits and your business.
Copyright © 2010

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Author's Bio: 

Janell McDougald is an Accountant with over 10 years of accounting experience. During her 10 years of experience she has help small businesses in the areas of accounting, tax, & operations.

Her personal experience in the area of employee theft inspired her to write this book to help business owners. The goal is prevention and she believes that with employee theft prevention measures in place, a business can possibly experience an improved bottom line.