The average U.S. company loses more than $9 a day per employee to fraud and abuse, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). A new ACFE report says companies lose about 6 percent of their total annual revenue to theft committed by their own employees.
Other findings: Small businesses are most vulnerable. Men commit 75 percent of the fraud. Managers rip off more than subordinates. And executives cause median losses that are 16 times that of their employees.
Among the ACFE's recommendations:
Set the tone. Leaders who are viewed as honest inspire honesty in workers. A positive work environment also can eliminate the temptation to "get back" at the employer. Also, have a written code of ethics and remind your staff about it often.
Check references. Offenders often seek out organizations that don't pre-screen workers. (See p. 7 for more on.)
Follow the money. Tighten access to cash flow. Randomly review records for inaccuracies. Limit the number of check signers.
Offer a hotline for reporting. Give employees a way to report improper conduct without fear of reprisal. Consider offering rewards.
Visit www.acfe.org or call (800) 245-3321.