5 Ways to Prevent Employee Theft

5 Ways to Prevent Employee Theft

Businesses in the United States lose billions of dollars every year. While many lose money due to outside problems, many employers lose money due to employee fraud or employee theft.

Employee theft can take several forms including embezzlement, fraudulent payroll schemes, and larceny. Employee theft can hurt both your business’ finances and its reputation. Here are five steps that you can take to prevent employee theft.

Screen Applicants

The first thing that can help you prevent employee theft is to run thorough background checks on potential employees. A background check will allow you to learn about the criminal and civil history of your potential employee, while also giving you a chance to double-check their references and education. Many companies recommend a credit check since people who are struggling financially are, statistically, more likely to steal. A background check should also be performed by an outside company. This gives you an unbiased view of the person you are looking to hire and doesn’t rely on just one person’s opinion.

Keep Clear Records

It is important to keep clear records of the inventory of your business. Whether this is of supplies or the products being sold, it allows you to know what is being sold and at what rate. You can then compare that information with your sales records. If there are discrepancies, you will be able to spot them and deal with the problem quickly. Sorting issues quickly also shows employees that management takes these things seriously.

Get To Know Your Employees

Another important part of preventing employee theft is to get to know your employees. In a recent set of cases, it has been reported that there are several VA hospitals under investigation. These investigations are the result of medical staff prescribing extra medication to patients and then taking the extra for their own purposes, either for personal use or to sell on for profit.

By getting to know your employees, you will see any red flags and help them receive the help that they need. This will both help them and prevent theft. In the case of the VA hospital drug thefts, the actions of the employees stealing could have led to serious shortages of medication for men and women who needed it for their health.


Another way to prevent employee theft is to have employees cross-trained so they can keep each other accountable. This ensures that no one employee is the only one with a specific skill set.

Outside Accountability

Another way to help prevent employee theft is to have a form of outside accountability. By bringing in a Certified Public Accountant or a CPA, you will have a pair of highly trained eyes checking the accounting of your business. A CPA can perform regular checks, as well as random visits, so employees feel more accountable. This accountability is important because a large amount of employee theft is related to money.

Employee theft affects a wide variety of businesses. In all situations, however, there are some options. From screening, training, and outside accountability, there are steps you can take to prevent employee theft.

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