How to guard your business/ company money
Raising capital to start your own business is never an easy task. The task is made even more difficult as most financial institutions are unwilling to support small and medium scale companies who do not have any form of collaterals during startup. The issue of purchasing equipments, buying or renting office accommodation, paying staff salary and making money available for operational purposes of the business or company becomes a daily challenge which most entrepreneurs are keen to overcome. After going through the rigors of starting that company and getting it up and running, the next step involves putting measures in place to prevent financial leakages or fraud occurring within or outside that may adversely affect the business .
Hiring of credible staff
All employers do whatever is ethically possible to hire the most credible personnel to work under them. This is to ensure that there will be no leakage of funds meant for official purposes. Before hiring an individual, the HR department usually conducts a background check on such individuals to ensure they don’t have questionable characters which may create problems for the company. The added advantage of hiring competent staff during the recruitment process is the fact that you are sure of having the best hands to accomplish the company set goals and plans.
There are some individuals who got sacked in their previous place of employment as a result of fraud related issues. Ensure that such characters are not given any chances during the recruitment process. An individual who can alter his records and credentials to enable him qualify for a job can equally alter official company records with the sole purpose of defrauding the company.
Auditing of company account
One good way of finding out if there is a leakage in the company finance is via the auditing of the company’s account. Apart from having an internal auditor, most companies go the extra mile by hiring an external auditor to help them check the financial books and ensure all the records are intact. An external auditor may cost the company some more thousands of Naira, but may end up saving the company millions of Naira. Most company auditors usually vet all expenses coming from the accountant before they get to the CEO for final approval. By so doing, the chances of stealing company funds is greatly reduced. The Auditor usually ensures that items listed for purchases are verified and when they are bought, the items are equally inspected to ensure they correspond with specifications.
There is normally the annual audit of the company’s account which is carried out with the aid of an external auditor. The process is usually thorough and involves the checking of all transactions that took place in the year under review. Most companies have discovered huge leakages via these auditing processes.
Reducing the presence of cash in the premises
A company should make it a policy to limit the volume of petty cash available within the company premises. The more the volume of physical cash flying around, the more the temptation for an account staff and other staff associated with daily expenditure to pilfer some of the cash. Nigeria is going cashless, and the less cash being carried around, the more secure the company account may become. There are rare cases where staff have been caught breaking into offices where cash is being kept, with the sole intention of stealing. This would have been avoided if company had made alternative provision to go cashless. Not all expenses usually need cash. Some may require issuance of checks, to reduce fraud related incidences.
Using a secure computer system
This means securing your company’s database from external access. The information in the main computer system in the account department must be properly guided using very strong passwords and restricted from visitors and non account staffs. There have been reported cases where the main computer system containing the company financial records have been hacked into and figures have been manipulated without the knowledge of management. This must be avoided by all means. All company computers must have secured password and should be properly monitored, to avoid unauthorized staffs having access to the financial records of the company.
Installing CCTV Cameras
It is normal to see most companies installing close circuit television cameras in their premises. These cameras are usually installed in sensitive offices and outside the company premises to forestall cases of theft and robbery. The actual locations of these cameras must be kept away from all staffs, due to its sensitive nature. The CCTV control room where recordings are analyzed should also be restricted from non staff to enable sensitive materials been tampered with. When security cameras are installed within a company premises, people tend to be more careful and the temptation to steal is greatly reduced. Most security cameras are hidden from the view of even company staffs, and visitors. Some thefts within company premises have been unraveled by these hidden cameras are culprits have been brought to book. They are usually expensive, but they are worth the cost, as they can save the company some fortunes.
To prevent losses via fire outbreak, natural disaster or armed robbery operation on premises, where company properties and cash may be damaged or stolen, most companies usually ensure that they insure their business against such possibilities. Insurance companies usually have premium insurance packages to cover such incidence and they make provision for compensation when they do occur, as long as the company has not defaulted in the insurance payments. There have been issues of Insurance companies not paying claims on time due to different bottlenecks in the insurance claim process, but it is still worth giving a trial. An uninsured business is real bait for criminals and other external characters.
The need to block financial loopholes may sometimes be expensive, but measures must be put in place to discourage the process from occurring. The policy of the company must emphasis some ethics related to reporting some corrupt tendencies which may promote stealing. Some companies even go to the extent of setting up Anti Corruption units within their establishments. This group equally monitors staff and management activities to prevent corrupt practices and ensure transparencies in all financial transactions.