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Let’s Talk About it – Employee Theft

by: - April 26, 2017
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MAN STEALING MONEY FROM A CASH REGISTER – MODEL RELEASED

Press Release

CRIME STOPPERS DOMINICA (CSD) provides a confidential crime reporting service that gives everyone the opportunity to report crime, including cases of theft by calling 1800 8477 (TIPS) or by submitting a tip online at crimestoppersdominica.org.

CSD has launched an educational series entitled “Let’s Talk About It” to create greater awareness about different types of crime, and to help the public to be better able to identify and help reduce or prevent potential criminal acts.

In this edition of “Let’s Talk About It”, the topic is “Employee Theft”.

Although business owners use various recruitment and selection methods to secure credible workers, some unsuspecting employers have fallen victims to theft from cunning employees.

EMPLOYEE THEFT is defined as any stealing, use or misuse of an employer’s assets without permission.

Theft can have a significant impact on a small business and can even result in business failure. Knowing the five (5) most common ways employee theft occurs can help you develop methods to combat the problem.

• Cash – the most common asset stolen from employers.

• Supplies – Office/restaurant supplies; others may steal more expensive items such as equipment.

• Merchandise/Company Property – Theft of inventory can occur during product distribution or at the warehouse before the merchandise is available for sale. Employees may conceal merchandise in clothing or on shelves behind other items for pick up later. Construction workers may steal company tools (hammers, chisels).

• Payroll – Employees sometimes falsify records or perform actions that result in receipt of payment for work they did not do.

• Information – Stealing product designs and trade secrets.

Here are some useful tips to help prevent employee theft:

Misplaced trust, inadequate supervision and failure to implement basic financial controls can lead to an environment that is ripe for internal theft and fraud.

• Introduce strong supervisory and monitoring controls. Where possible, divide duties between staff so any irregularities will be easier spotted.

• Conduct yearly audits. Develop strong audit controls and inventory of all supplies and equipment regularly. In the interim, perform random stock checks and ensure that your point of sales systems provide audit trails so you can trace any irregularities.

• To prevent unauthorised use, exercise access control to keys, the safe, alarm codes, documents and computers. Change locks and access codes when an aggrieved employee is terminated.

• Establish a written policy that outlines employee responsibilities, standards of honesty and general security procedures and consequences for not following them.

Shoplifting Prevention/Petty thievery

• Maintain a tidy and orderly store. Use mirrors so you could see “blind spots” where shoplifters might hide.

• Merchandise should be kept away from store exits to prevent grab-and-run situations. Small items that can easily be snatched should be left at the cashier.

• Dressing rooms should be monitored at all times. Keep dressing rooms locked and limit the number of items taken in.

• The payroll should be periodically audited for irregularities by external auditors

• Inventory shortages should be investigated.

HOW DOES CRIME STOPPERS DOMINICA WORK?

If you have information on any type of CRIMINAL ACTIVITY,

• Call toll free 1-800-TIPS [8477] and give the operator the information or go online at crimestoppersdominica.org and click the “Submit Tip” button. Do not give your name.

• The call centre is located outside of Dominica and agents are available 24/7 to take reports. The call is confidential and there is no caller ID. The agents are only interested in the information you give, so you will not be asked to say your name. Your information will be dealt with sensitively, and then put into a report. The information is then transmitted to the Police who proceeds to take the necessary action.