The Private Investigation Business often deals with cases related to improper handling of company money, whether it be from a partner, a spouse, or an employee. Most of the time, these issues could have been caught sooner if the person in charge had incorporated a few easy checks into his or her financial routine. This blog post spells out three easy money managing tips that will help any manager or owner keep a better handle on company finances and catch any suspicious activity.
Change up the roles- This is one of the most important things you can do when trying to protect your money. Cases of theft, fraud, and deceit occur when people get too comfortable in their position. Switching up the roles of who 1) records transactions 2) physically handles the money 3) balances the books 4) approves expenditures is a great way to keep everyone on their toes and naturally provide employee checks. In the case of employee theft, In over ¼ of all employee theft cases, it is a tip off from a fellow employee that eventually catches the perpetrator. This is all the more reason to have your employees checking each other’s work, and it will simultaneously prevent anyone from “counting on” having a certain responsibility or getting too comfortable in a certain role. That being said, make sure that switching the roles does not get messy. Keep track of who is in charge of what at every moment, and never let there be a question as to who was the last one to touch the money, balance the books, etc.
Save receipts- Saving receipts is another necessary habit for absolutely every business. Receipts can feel outdated nowadays and it can be hard and tedious to try and physically hold on to paper receipts or take the time to download and print online ones. However, when it comes time to provide monthly expense reports, there should be no reason why every single employee/client expense should not be properly documented. Abuse of a company credit card is one of the main ways that employees play the system, and saving receipts helps prevent this. Not only that, but it will help the accountant keep a clear record of purchases and will help the company in the case of a tax audit. Saving receipts is always a good idea, and again, the fact that an employee knows he or she needs to record and save the receipt of every purchase will make them far more careful about spending company money.
Outsource- An easy way to avoid untrustworthy employees is by outsourcing some of your needs. For example, by outsourcing your accountant, you are able to get an objective person balancing your books every month who your other employees don’t even know and will have limited contact with. This outsourced accountant won’t be spending company money and will have zero interest in fudging numbers. Similarly, outsourcing security can be a great way to keep a level of professionalism in the workplace by keeping the security separate and objective from the rest of the office. Lastly, outsourcing an investigator is a way to get an objective voice and expert opinion in the event that you do suspect something is going wrong with your company’s money. Essentially, outsourcing allows you to save money, keep some distance between important roles and the rest of the company, and offer an objective opinion and expertise when it comes to money issues.
Be your company’s final calculator- At the end of the day, you are not going to be able to truly be at peace of mind with your company’s financial situation unless you are the end of the line for all financial concerns. Delegating and trusting your employees is necessary in order to be successful, but you should strategically plan check-ins every week and quarter to stay on top of your company’s finances, double check work, and feel out your employees and their attitudes. Being involved is the best way to keep your employees loyalty and maintain your own peace of mind. Remember, nobody, not even your business partner or long time friend, should be completely trusted with any one task exclusively. If people know that you’ll be asking questions, they will be far less likely to do something questionable.
Change passwords frequently- Perhaps the most simple advice on this list, and yet it is possibly the most important. We are living in a time where we are constantly vulnerable for theft, whether it be from those we know in our office, or identity thieves online. Changing your passwords often, making them difficult to crack, and not keeping them all recorded in one place is an important way to protect yourself from those looking for access. This is not just true with personal passwords but with any company wide access codes, lockboxes, or computers.
You can never 100% protect yourself from the unexpected. However being prepared and not putting anyone at your company in the position to be tempted to act unfairly is one of the best ways to protect against unwanted trouble.