5 Smart Ways to Protect Against Small Business Fraud

Small business fraud is a major issue, but there are five (relatively) easy and simple ways to protect your business from occupational fraud and abuse.

small business fraud prevention

What if we told you that small business fraud can cost you about five percent of your revenue in a given year? You would probably be pretty eager to prevent that, right?

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Global Fraud Study, that dire reality exists for businesses across America. As a small business, you’re not well-protected by the anti-fraud controls enjoyed by some larger corporations, and that makes you particularly susceptible to the threat. 

We have several tips that can work to protect you, no matter how small your business is. Here are five ways to prevent small business fraud:

1. Establish a Code of Conduct

Employees are less likely to attempt to defraud you if clear rules and expectations are formalized, written down, and enforced via a zero tolerance policy. We’re not advocating for a code of conduct that will terrify your employees, but they shouldn’t feel like there’s wiggle room in your company policies for them to be shady. 

2. Create an Anti-Fraud Policy

Once you have a strong code of conduct in place, build a comprehensive anti-fraud policy off of that document. This will help you detect fraud by letting employees know who to tip off if they suspect something is wrong. And this part is key because as of 2014, only 29.6 percent of small businesses experiencing fraud were warned of it by employees.

3. Create Anti-Fraud Training Programs

Once employees are aware of your policies and anti-fraud programs, you’ll want to train them. This serves the dual purpose of ensuring employees understand your commitment and plan to stop fraud in the organization, and it also discourages employees who might think about fraudulent activities by giving them insight into how seriously the business takes the problem.

4. Set Up an Anonymous Tip Line

Companies with reporting hotlines have better luck with detection of fraud, as the ACFE survey clearly shows: Hotlines can reduce the amount of fraud at a company by up to 40 percent. This fraud hotline service is available at an annual cost of $500, which is far less than the costs associated with being defrauded.

5. Don’t Store Pre-Printed Checks

If you store and use pre-printed checks, you’re elevating your fraud risk level by a considerable amount. Even with tight inventory controls, exposing your bank account information to many employees is asking for trouble. By using a combination of blank secure check stock and check writing/printing software, you’ll have a much safer way to fill out, sign, and print your checks—one that can house all your important information while maintaining control on your MICR checks.

We know small business fraud is not easy to prevent. But following these steps can help you crank up security and strongly discourage employees from the kind of behavior that can cost your business money. Ultimately, given the tight profit margins for every small business, that’s a seriously worthwhile effort. 

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Medical Forms Are a Nightmare. Carbonless Paper Can Help!

See how Relyco’s REIMAGE carbonless paper helped one hospital increase efficiency and reduce cost.

Carbonless laser paper

At Relyco, have this friend. Her name is Hypothetical Holly.

Hypothetical Holly works in a hospital, keeping and organizing medical records and forms. It’s difficult work, and before the advent of carbonless paper, it was incredibly messy work. Holly spent her days covered in black smudges from forms that needed to be completed in triplicate, buried in discarded carbon sheets.

Carbonless paper saved Holly from that sooty fate, but it too has its challenges. Traditional carbonless paper is not intended for use in a laser-compatible environment, and has severely damaged parts of the hospital’s laser printers and digital copiers.

Luckily for Holly, there is a solution, as Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn. discovered a few years ago: It’s called REIMAGE™ Carbonless Laser Paper.

Customer Story: Griffin Hospital’s Carbonless Paper Solution

Griffin Hospital is a 160-bed acute care community hospital serving more than 100,000 residents of the Lower Naugatuck Valley Region and also serves as the flagship hospital for Planetree, an international leader in patient-centered care.

The hospital operates its own print shop, which delivers a comprehensive range of printing services on demand to departments across the health care organization. Long-time employee Steven C. Katilius, the print shop’s sole operator, said that the facility uses carbonless laser paper for a range of documents, from discharge instructions to payment receipts. 

Katilius tried a sample of REIMAGE on the print shop’s Risograph, a high-speed digital duplicator, and was so impressed with the results that it’s all he’s used since.

Some carbonless papers cause issues with the equipment, but the REIMAGE works flawlessly; it has literally never jammed, which saves me time in the long run. The adhesive Relyco recommends for use with REIMAGE dries quickly and works great to produce multi-page form sets. Most importantly, though, when the carbonless forms are used throughout the hospital, the writing is clear, even on the third sheet, which is a critically important quality in the types of forms we produce.

It’s also cost-effective, Katilius said. Carbonless paper can be expensive, but Relyco’s prices for REIMAGE are very competitive, he said.

Interested in learning more about Relyco’s REIMAGE Carbonless Laser Paper and its applications to the healthcare industry? Contact a Relyco representative today!

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