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Helpful Tips for Catching and Preventing Employee Theft

Accountants are often tasked with helping small business owners prepare for tax season or prepare for growth, to obtain loans, and streamline processes. They may even be asked to help find why numbers aren’t adding up.

Most often, this involves error correction: entering transactions that were previously skipped or not posted correctly. Sometimes, the problem may be more insidious. It could involve missing money, inventory, or business supplies that could have been misappropriated by an employee.

While mistakes aren’t impossible around the workplace, a pattern could be a sign that something more suspicious is happening around your office. To help you with that, here are some tips to help you catch and prevent theft from your employees:

1. Get to Know Your Employees

To catch employee theft, you need to know your employees. You need to know their habits. The number of supplies that they go through in a month or the things they need to do the job on a daily basis. If they handle money, pay close attention to the numbers. Make it a point to take proper inventory and check your balances.

In addition to checking employees’ references, look out for indicators of theft such as:

– An unusual dedication to work and working late hours

– A lifestyle that is beyond the salary they are being paid

– Drug use or alcohol abuse

– Resistance to changes in procedure, inventory, or financial matters

– The fact that they have multiple jobs or have taken on side jobs using materials that are available at your business.

2. Inform Them About Anti-Theft Policies

In order to prevent theft by employees, employers should ensure that they are informed of their obligation to follow the Anti-Theft policy. Having an Anti-Theft policy in place can minimise the risk of theft by employees. These policies define the rights and responsibilities of the employer and the employee.

Essentially, the theft by employee policy is a disciplinary process by which the employer may try to recover the stolen property. It will also help the employer develop a case against the employee if theft by an employee has been discovered. This will help the employer in recovering losses, paying taxes, and dealing with workers’ compensation insurance.

3. Install Proper Security Measures Physically and Digitally

For small business owners, it may be difficult to invest in state-of-the-art security systems. However, you can implement some physical and digital security measures to protect your business from employee theft.

Physical security measures you can implement include:

– Install hand-held metal detectors at the door

– Issue a magnetic key card for access to the building

– Install security cameras in high-risk areas

– Install locks on file cabinets and space boxes

Some things you can do digitally to help you prevent theft by employees include:

– Use a computer forensic tool to track access to data.

– Data Encryption

– Managing Access


In the world of business, there is no way to completely prevent theft by employees. However, there are steps to be taken to minimise the risk. By knowing your employees, being alert to signs of theft, and enforcing your anti-theft policies, you can help prevent theft within your company.

Take the necessary precautions to keep your business and employees safe. Have CCTV installation done for proper monitoring of your space and property. Schedule your appointment with us!

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