When you run your own business, things can seem tough at the best of times! With keeping a check on inventory, staff well being, and of course expenditure, a business owner’s work is never done! And of course, as a business owner, you have to expect the unexpected(business fraud); everything from the ceiling of your offices suddenly collapsing to business fraud.
A common phenomenon in the 1980s due to cheques, business fraud is still a worry for many company owners today. While technologies have been able to help reduce instances of business-related frauds, there are still ways that thieves can get around them, potentially leaving you and your employees in hot water. Yikes!
In the UK, there are 5 common types of business fraud that you need to watch out for. Hiring a fraud solicitor as early as possible in your trading will help to keep you and your business safe, but it is important to know the basics of these fraud types too. Here is a brief guide to the most common frauds that your company may fall prey to.
A real issue for many small businesses is identity fraud. Fraudsters may gain access to your business’s identity via online accounts and will then have access to associated credit. One way that you and your fraud solicitor can prevent identity fraud is to keep your sensitive documents secure. Ideally, print out all your ‘confidential’ documents and lock them in a filing cabinet in your office. This will prevent thieves from having access to them via the internet.
In relation to payroll, use separate accounts for income, expenditure and employee payroll. If you are hacked, the thieves will only have access to one account, and will not drain all your finances.
Typically conducted by getting a colleague to clock in for them or lying about the number of hours worked, payroll fraud can cost small businesses a fortune in overpaying employees. To avoid payroll fraud, your fraud solicitor will advise you to keep a strict eye on your employees, and to put a payroll system in place to keep track of hours worked and pay.
While many businesses operate via contactless payment nowadays, it is still important for retail businesses to be able to identify false notes. Train yourself and your staff in being able to identify false notes, by assessing watermarks, micro-printing and raised printing. Remember, once stored in your business account, false notes are worthless.
If you run a shop, you are probably familiar with returned goods and require a receipt to accept items into your inventory. To reduce the risk of returns fraud, never accept returned goods without a receipt, and always keep track of goods that have been purchased.
Workers compensation fraud Not something that any business owner wants to think about, but employees claiming false injuries to claim compensation can cost your business. Keep accurate records of all injuries in the workplace and install CCTV cameras to avoid this.