Embezzlement is an ugly subject, and no business owner wants to talk about it. It’s, however, an unavoidable subject for all company owners, especially dentists. With the work involved in attending to patients, it can be very easy for dental practices to experience embezzlement in one way or the other. It’s normal for you, the dentist, to assign other duties to your employees in dental businesses, including accounting. So, the first step in managing against embezzlement is hiring good employees.
However, there have been cases when good employees commit fraud for several different reasons. This leaves good management as the only way to protect your dental practice from workers’ fraudulent actions. One of the best ways to keep your finances secure and prevent embezzlement is by putting a dental CPA Chicago in charge of your financial management. But if you’re handling your accounts on your own, or have an employee doing that, here are some fraud prevention techniques to try:
Firstly, try to share responsibilities between different staff members. Ensure that the person in charge of billing is not the same person that makes bank deposits. Having other people controlling different functions makes it harder for a single employee to commit fraud. Ensure that only one employee is in charge of supplies, ordering, and receiving. Segregating tasks will make receiving reports from each department easier.
Also, one thing you should make clear to all your employees is that there’ll be severe consequences if embezzlement is discovered.
Pay Attention to Your Books
It would be best if you carefully go through all reports from the different departments in your office personally. All cheques should be signed personally, invoices for supplies crosschecked against inventory records, and properly documented expenses. Use invoices, patient visit slips, and pre-numbered checks, so they can be easily cross-referenced during auditing.
Also, ensure that the bank deposit slips tally with the bank statement records to confirm that your employees made the deposits. Keep a cash fund aside for petty office purchases, and make sure all purchases get correctly recorded. This way, employees cannot tamper with other office finances under the pretext of making office purchases.
By performing regular and impromptu audits of the financial records in your practice, you can deter employees with plans to commit fraud.
For practices with accountants, there are some management techniques you can do to ensure against fraud too.
Make sure that the accurate financial records of your practice get to the accountant on time. With an excellent dental CPA in Chicago, you can receive your firm’s financial statements regularly for your appraisal. With such information, you can compare your practice’s income and expenses over each period and work out ways to reduce your costs and increase revenue.
You can also ask your dental CPA to analyze your bank statements to detect any discrepancies. Having a dental CPA in Chicago review your books regularly can also help highlight your books’ issues and where corrections can come in.
With the above tips, you can confidently manage and protect your dental practice against embezzlement. It can also help you get a better understanding of your firm’s overall financial state.