How to Safeguard Your Business Against Skimming
One of the most common forms of fraud is skimming. This is when employees find ways to take small amounts of cash and pocket them. For example, an employee behind the cash register may request more money from the customer than what the product is worth and pocket some of it. The employee might sell a product and not ring it up on the register. What makes skimming hard to detect is that there is usually no paper trail. However, there are ways you can protect your business.
Check the Register
A common way to know that an employee stole money is that a cash register is off or products are missing. This is best identified by comparing your actual inventory to your inventory on the books. If merchandise is missing, this could mean that employees are either stealing the merchandise or skimming.
Look for Credit-Card Skimmers
Some forms of skimming are performed by outside parties, such as the infamous credit-card skimming. Skimming is performed using a skimming device that scans a copy of a credit card and then uses it to create a fraudulent card.
To cover up skimming, employees may need to modify the books. For instance, products might need to be removed from the digital inventory. Because of this, you will need to limit which employees have access to software that has these capabilities. You must also understand your software and how it can be used to carry out these actions.
Place Limits on Discounts
Employees will sometimes use computers to provide themselves with excessively high discounts with which they pay next to nothing for products. To prevent this, place a limit on how high discounts can be.
Hire a Forensic Accountant
The best way to investigate and discover the skimming operation is to hire a forensic accountant, such as one from a company like Epps Forensic Consulting PLLC. These professionals will know the red flags of skimming and will help you identify the culprit. You will also need to supervise your employees more closely so they will not have opportunities to steal. When possible, the payment and preparation of the product should be handled by separate individuals. If possible, automate the purchasing of products by selling your products online so that products must be sold in order for these products to then be released. Another approach is to require a payment to generate a receipt and to then require the receipt to receive the product.