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10 ways to protect your business from fraud

It can happen to the rich and to the poor; to small high street companies or big multimillion entities and sadly there is no ‘one size fits all’ method approach to safeguarding your business. You can prevent fraud, if you follow simple but effective measures. Below is a list of the 10 golden rules that could help ensure the safety and security of your business.

  1. Know your employees: Who are they? Where did they work before? Any criminal convictions? A simple background check is relatively cheap and will tell you all of this information; assisting you to decide who to hire.
  2. Know your customers: Know who you are doing business with, check identification or check their companies’ house to see if they are able to pay your invoices. We all want to build up a profitable business relationship, but be wise to companies who request a longer payment period, or reluctant to pay deposits, these deals will be the ones that will get your business into trouble.
  3. Get involved in your company finances: check your books, get an understanding of the monthly incomings and outgoings, it will allow you to spot any discrepancies quickly.
  4. Change passwords regularly: At least every couple of months. This can really make a difference to your company security. Remember not to use a passwords that are similar to those used previously, make sure they are different and do not leave your passwords written down somewhere that others can access.
  5. Individual ID’s and passwords: Fraudsters never want to use their own passwords or ID to assist when committing a crime. By providing each employee with individual log in details you will be able to quickly trace any breach that occurs and will act as a deterrent for anyone considering committing a fraud.

6. Limit banking access: you will increase your chances of internal fraud if every employee has full access to your accounting and banking information. Only provide access where necessary.

7. Educate: teach your employees about fraud, make sure they know the trigger points to look out for. Catching a fraudster in the early stages will save precious time and money.

8. Avoid signature stamps: if this gets into the wrong hands it’s the equivalent of giving a fraudster free admission to your business. Sign cheques and important documents yourself, if you must use a signature stamp, ensure this is kept in a safe place with limited access.

9. Regular impromptu audits: conduct random spot checks, these can be monthly or weekly. This will act as a deterrent for any potential fraudster and again is an excellent way to pick up on any abnormalities quickly.

10. Internal procedures: make these rigid, especially with regard to security, both internal and external and make sure that your staff are aware of the consequences of failing to adhere to your company procedures.