PART 2: The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) reported that 5% of all business revenue is lost to fraud, which is a huge number. Worse, more than a quarter of the HVAC or plumbing contractors reading this column will fall victim to business fraud. Here are 9 additional ways to ensure you are not one of the statistics. YOU CAN FIND Part 1 HERE.
10. Create An Approved Purchaser List and P.O. System
Some employees do side jobs using material the company buys. Eliminate these by informing every vendor exactly who is authorized to make purchases. Also, create a purchase order system where every order is logged sequentially. Inform your vendors that a purchase order is required for every purchase.
11. Watch for Missing Numbers
Checks, company invoices, and purchase orders should all be sequentially numbered. If a number is missing or out of sequence, find out why.
12. Stamp Checks Immediately
As soon as you receive a check, stamp it for deposit only. Make sure you take checks and cash deposits to the bank.
13. Follow Up On Turn Downs
One of the tricks of the unscrupulous technician is to inform the customer of the problem and tell the customer that he can save him money by returning later. When your employees return with service call or response charges only because the customer turned down the work, follow up. This is good practice anyway. If the turn down was legitimate, you might be able to convert it.
14. Check Service Vehicle MPG
Either require your technicians to log mileage when they fill up the gas tank or use GPS to check miles driven between fill ups and gas used. This is to ensure that no one is filling up a personal vehicle on a company fuel card.
15. Conduct Background Checks
16. Run Credit Checks
Anyone who handles money or is involved with the accounting system needs to be put through a credit check. When people are desperate, they do desperate things.
17. Subscribe to a Fraud Hotline
One of the best preventive measures of fraud is the knowledge that someone is watching. Even the potential that someone is watching removes temptation. For this reason, sign up for a service with an anonymous fraud hotline. The Service Nation Alliance operates one for its members. Other groups might as well.
18. Do Not Compromise
When fraud does occur, there can be no compromises on your action. Prosecute, and tell your team that you will prosecute, to prevent future occurrences. If you do not want to prosecute a family member who is caught taking a five-finger discount, then terminate the family member and insist on full restitution. The family member must pay back what was taken.