Here's How to Keep Your Workers From Stealing From You

By Josh Patrick 

NEW YORK (AdviceIQ) -- Companies lose around 5% of revenues each year to employee theft, according to an annual report of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Small businesses are especially vulnerable because they lack proper controls. As a business owner, however much you trust your employees, you need basic strategies to reduce your risk of becoming a victim.

In the days I owned my vending company, cash controls were a big deal. It was almost like a game: Some of my employees found a way to steal, then I found a way to stop them. The game went round and round, and seemingly never ended.

This is a problem for any business. You don't have to have a cash business to have a theft problem. In fact, businesses that don't handle cash suffer some of the biggest embezzlements. Review your bookkeeping practices now by asking yourself these questions:

Also see: Want Business Success? Form a Customer Advisory Board

Open your bank statements. You think your bookkeeper, who has worked for you for years, would never steal from you. Yet one day you look at your accounts and find several hundred thousand dollars are missing.

An easy way to make sure you don't get these nasty surprises is for you to open your banks statements and look through them before sending them to your bookkeeper. If people in your company know you look, they are much less likely to steal from you.