Using Accounting to Battle Employee Theft

Using Accounting to Battle Employee Theft

Implementing tighter security controls would be more effective in preventing employee theft. Although being stringent when doing background checks and screening for new employee is important, it is not enough to address the issue. This is because in some cases, employees collude with customers to steal from retailers. As reported by Leinbach-Reyhle (2015), there are some instances where employees make arrangements with customers so that they are given items for which they did not pay. In this light, therefore, stricter security controls would be the most effective measure of preventing employee theft.

Installing surveillance cameras, for example, will help in monitoring any suspicious dealings between employees and customers. Likewise, I believe that besides segregating duties, job rotation is necessary so that before an employee can become so familiar with systems and loopholes that may encourage fraud, he/she is shifted to another department. This is particularly necessary at the inventory receiving unit, considering that many theft incidences usually happen here (Leinbach-Reyhle, 2015).

Conducting random inventory audits and implementing computer-aided audit systems all help in minimizing inventory shrinkage. These audits should be done regularly so that any errors or malpractices are intercepted early enough, hence sparing the company from incurring hefty losses. Hiring a private/external auditor can also help to prevent employee farud/theft.

Response to Cassandra

You have a strong argument, backed by your experience, for the idea of adding more security controls to prevent employee theft. I am wondering, however, whether there is a higher authority or an external party who audits the accountant who supervises you and audits you work. Your post suggests that the auditing is done by the accountant and the owner of the firm, but I feel there is need to have an external auditor who scrutinizes all the books including the records and reports made by the accountant.

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