When it comes to threats to your company’s future, no threat is more significant or devastating than commercial fraud. The first step in protecting your company against fraud is choosing to accept it as a dangerous possibility and do whatever you can to safeguard against it. Additionally, fraud comes in many forms, from small internal losses to major planned attacks, and targets both the financial aspect of your company, but also the day-to-day flow information also has the potential to hurt business. Luckily, there are ways you can protect your company from fraud to help and make you prepared to make in case it does happen.
Examine Your Staff before Hiring
Company fraud can occur at many levels, but the most immediate threat comes from within – your staff. If the risk is too great, you will generally have to improve your hiring policy and do a background check, before even hiring someone. Your investigation should include possible criminal background, verify their education and previous employment. Moreover, employees who will deal with company finance or inventory should be subject to a credit check.
Set Up a Report System and Separate Financial Responsibilities
At every level of your company, you should set up reporting systems. Regular monthly reports enable you to track purchase orders and monitor payments and expenses. A scrupulous system of split financial responsibilities can also create a policy of checks and balances. Although, conspiracy among staff may occur, a single member is far less likely to perpetrate an act of fraud when every staff member is examining each other. Ultimately, combining these two practices minimizes the risk of in-house fraud. If it does occur, this system allows you to single out an employee or company sector, and conduct an accurate investigation into their work.
Implement Regular Professional Financial Controls
At regular annual intervals, hire professionals in the field of forensic accounting, who can conduct detailed financial investigations and an audit of your current financial structure. Based on your finance reviews and reports, certified forensic accounting experts can produce evidence that supports or negates your fears of business fraud. Additionally, by curating these investigations every quarter, you can improve your antifraud policies and security procedures, which is supported by data and expertise.
Invest in Cyber Security Infrastructure and Protocols
As ever more people use digital technology and internet to conduct business, there’s an increasing requirement for businesses to create a secure IT infrastructure. When figuring out ways to protect your company against cybercrime, one of the simplest ways is to dedicate a single computer and a secure internet connection for financial activities. Additionally, you will need to upgrade anti-virus protection, to safeguard against spyware and malware attacks, and invest in a quality firewall. Consult IT experts in cybercrime, who can help you with these matters, and also improve your password protection policy, as well as provide safer data storage solutions.
Insure Your Company
Because fraud and cybercrime are a constant threat to your business, you should also consider investing in an insurance policy. This will serve as a safety net, in case you do get attacked, to cover your losses. Arrange a meeting with your bank and inform yourself what policies they have to protect and refund your account balance, in case it is compromised. Alternatively, look towards insurance companies that specialize in business protection programs, to keep your business and yourself prepared.
From employee fraud to cybercrime, fraud is a major risk in any business. However, by investing the time, money and effort into protecting your company, you minimize the chances of succumbing to attacks on your finances. Ultimately, if you still believe you are vulnerable, investing in insurance can cover any losses you may incur in case of fraud.