A person reviewing a company's books with a magnifying glass and a calculator

We see more and more stories in the news about fraud committed against small businesses. Business owners may not be aware or understand how fraud can be committed against their company. Often the fraud has occurred due to lack of oversight or proper audits.
Some of the most common fraud is internal and committed by employees. This could be as simple as skimming cash from petty cash or as elaborate as a payables fraud with the help of an outside fictitious vendor. Customers can also defraud a business by writing bad checks or providing stolen credit card information to pay for goods and services.
Don’t allow your business to become defrauded. Take the following precautionary steps to prevent fraud and save your company’s reputation and money.

  • Audit invoices
    Review invoices being paid and request vendors send detailed invoices to verify the invoices are legitimate.
  • Periodic review of vendors
    Verify the vendors you are paying are legitimate.
  • Create a payables policy
    Convey to all employees the payables policy must be followed. This will communicate to your employees all funds leaving the business are being monitored.
  • Upgrade your credit card terminals to the new EMV chip technology
    Minimize credit card fraud and remove the burden of fraudulent transactions from your business.
  • Limit the acceptance of checks from customers
    Alleviate losing money from accepting bad checks by offering your customers options like credit card or ACH payment.
  • Improve your hiring process
    Run background checks and verify references before hiring an employee.   Create an internal fraud prevention plan Create a culture in your business to inform employees’ you will always be auditing your books and you expect them to be aware and report suspected fraud immediately to you.

First Commonwealth Business Services has solutions to help protect your business from fraud. Our Merchant Card Services can help you purchase a new EMV/chip terminal with competitive rates. Our online cash management software, HomeLink Business, has security capabilities which allow you to manage your employees’ access to your accounts; plus you can receive account and security alerts. Contact us today at 610.997.6381 or business@firstcomcu.org to discuss your businesses fraud prevention plan.

by: Steven Mertz - First Commonwealth's Vice President Business Services