Internal Fraud in Dental Practices—When Reality Bites
If I asked you about internal fraud in dental practices, you would likely say, “Not a problem for me” . . . “my employees are all trustworthy”, or “I know whom to trust with my finances.” Such thinking could prove deadly! Below are three examples of internal fraud in dental practices:
- This dental employee went to prison for the embezzlement of $77,522.
- A dental assistant went to prison for a $1 million fraud. The dentist said, “I would have trusted (defendant) with my last dime.”
- This defendant embezzled $20,700 from the practice where she worked.
The potential for internal fraud in dental practices is real. Yet, many never consider that such a crime could happen to them. Whenever internal fraud in dental practices happens—the primary factor is misplaced trust. So, what can the dentist do to reduce risk to internal fraud in dental practices?
1) Recognize the Threat: The employee who commits such a crime generally holds a position of trust, has greatest opportunity, is least suspected, and has weak to no supervisory oversight.
2) Job Applicants: Preventing internal fraud begins at the point of hire. Reduce your risk by conducting thorough background and credit checks.
3) Multiple Tasking: Reduce your risk to internal fraud in dental practices by never assigning a single person to handle the finances. Example: The employee who handles accounts payable should not open incoming mail or take care of accounts receivable.
4) Supervisory Oversight: Proper supervision helps to ensure that adequate internal controls are in place and enforced.
These “four steps” will help to deter internal fraud in dental practices.
Learn more strategies to dramatically minimize internal fraud in dental practices by ordering your copy of Business Fraud: From Trust to Betrayal today!