Your small business can be left in quite a quandary should it be the victim of a theft. Whether it’s an inside job or not, you lose financially and your company’s reputation suffers.
Here are three different scenarios that your small business could be facing:
1. A disgruntled employee is either written up or terminated. They still have access to your building via an office key and decide to extact some revenge. You end up with stolen office equipment and now must file a report, at least temporarily replace the equipment, and deal with any fall out from customers due to a slowdown in production. Had you taken steps ahead of time to properly secure the office and made sure onsite video cameras were working, you could have avoided this entire situation in the first place.
2. A thief or thieves have been eying your small business for some time now. They know when the first and last employees come and go during the business day. Perhaps they have been visiting your business under the ruse of servicing your company. Whatever the plan, they scope out your company and know when it’s the best time to strike. Along with not having video surveillance on your property, the last employee out at the end of the work day doesn’t always remember to lock the door on their way out. One morning you arrive at work only to find your office has been ransacked and valuable items are missing. Again, another situation that could have been avoided had the proper security measures been in place.
3. One of your employees with access to finances decides to take a little piece of the pie for themselves. Months go by before you finally realize that your financial books don’t add up. By now, the employee has grabbed thousands of dollars from your account and left you with a financial mess. Even if you are lucky enough to eventually catch the individual and prosecute them in a court of law, your company’s finances and reputation have both suffered greatly.
While no security system is 100 percent foolproof, you can lessen the odds that your business will fall victim to theft from an in-house source. Among the areas you need to look at:
- Should I have any questions and/or doubts regarding the workers overseeing funds at my business?
- Did we properly run background checks on those we are considering hiring, especially those workers that would be involved with company financials?
- Do we properly destroy all documents that have sensitive company data on them like credit card receipts, bank statements etc.?
- When a worker departs the company, do we make sure that they know not to release any detailed data regarding company bank accounts, etc.?
- When we brought these people on as employees, did we have them sign a form acknowledging that all information is to be kept private both during and after their employment with us?
There are many things to look at when running your small business, especially when it comes to protecting both your financial assets and your workers. When all is said and done, not only is the financial well-being of your small business at stake, but so too is the financial well-being of each and every employee that depends on you for a job in a safe environment.
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