Are you at risk for embezzlement?

Are you at risk for embezzlement?

According to a recent study, 83 percent of the medical practices polled had been the victim of employee theft or embezzlement.When you work closely with a person every day, it's hard to imagine that person stealing from you. While we would all like to believe our employees are honest, cash transactions, especially, create temptation for many employees. 

 TMA Practice Consulting suggests the following measures to help reduce the potential for cash embezzlement in your practice:

  • Do not give any one employee complete control over the entire sequence of cash transactions.
  • Give only key employees access to cash.
  • Segregate financial transactions so that employees who keep accounting records do not handle receipts or perform cash disbursements. If this division of labor is impractical, arrange for a review of all work at least quarterly.
  • Consider requiring business office employees to undergo the bonding process.
  • Hire an outside accounting agency to perform periodic financial audits.
  • Check references and perform background checks before hiring an employee. Employee screening companies can conduct criminal background searches, provide motor vehicle reports, and verify personal information, including employment history.

Embezzlement controls should extend to policies for writing checks and handling bank statements, incoming checks, and payroll. Adequate supervision, a system of internal checks and balances, posting transactions in a timely manner, as well as an overall emphasis on integrity in your practice, all help create an environment that invites honesty.

Embezzlement control is just one part of a continuum of financial policies that every practice should have in place. If you need help in this area, call a TMA consultant today for expert recommendations and guidance. Contact TMA Practice Consulting at (800) 523-8776 or visit www.consulting.texmed.org .