Did you know that at least one in three dental practices have been victim to some sort of embezzlement? Protect your practice against employee fraud by understanding the tactics involved, and how to watch for them with tips from a Dental CPA.
Oftentimes, patients will pay for their portion of fees by check. One instance of fraud can happen by a team member instructing the patient to leave the payee section blank, letting them know they have a stamp for the payee section. Then, it’s as simple as writing in their own name or business and depositing the check. To combat this, do not allow the use of payee stamps and ensure that your checks are reviewed carefully, both before and after they are deposited.
Altering Book Transactions
Committing fraud is a two-part process — siphoning money or resources, but also covering up the tracks. As a business owner you need to be aware of both. A fraudulent employee may alter transactions in your accounts receivable to create a false trail that shows payment was made in the right steps. Ensure that any additions, deletions, or adjustments of activity in your accounting or bookkeeping software are properly logged and audited.
Skimming Cash or Patient Credits
A fraudulent employee may be stealing money directly from cash transactions, or indirectly, by refunding patients’ credit balances onto their own credit cards. Both of these examples of fraud are easy to catch with the proper systems in place. Tally your cash balance at the end of every office day and have it confirmed by more than one employee. In addition, ensure a proactive approach to any credit balances that patients might accrue so that they will not remain and be forgotten about.
Quick Tips from a Dental CPA to Protect Yourself
In addition to keeping watch for the potential fraud examples above, here are a few pointers to help avoid others:
- Reconcile every payment logged in your accounting software by confirming them on the bank’s end.
- Implement a business credit card to easily track any purchases made for the office, and to reduce the need for reimbursement.
- Investigate transactional history that does not make logical sense or is overcomplicated.
- Bring another agency aboard to monitor and control your accounting duties to ensure quality and validity.
If you feel that your business is at-risk for fraud or you have already been a victim to it, contact Dental CPA Allen M. Schiff today to schedule a consultation.
100 West Road, Suite 410
Towson, MD 21204