According the UK Police, fraud affects 1 in 4 small businesses every year. In 2016, fraud losses to SMEs were estimated at £18.9 billion. It can happen to any business regardless its size. No business is too small, or too big, to be targeted. Fortunately, there are a few simple things which you can do to help protect yourself and reduce the risks of becoming a victim.
Protect Your Business
- Employees – according to a recent statistic, nearly 1 in 5 small businesses have been defrauded by an employee at some point during their trading history. Internal fraud is very hard to detect. So you must make sure that you carry out employment screening as part of your hiring process – the more senior the role, the deeper you should dig. If you have key employees handling your sensitive data, you may even want to screen them on an annual basis.
- Customers – the most common customer fraud happens in the payment process. They may have ordered something from you remotely and used an electronic payment method (card) which isn’t genuine. But, by the time you discover this, you have already delivered the goods to the fraudster. If you can’t verify the identity of your customers, beware of those who demand urgent delivery and show no regard for any additional costs involved.
- Finances – as a small business owner, you may not have the time to go through reoccurring charges line by line and because of that, you may have signed off duplicate payments without realising. If you are concerned about your financial process, talk to us today. You can engage our bookkeeping and accounting services through which our dedicated team will make sure that everything adds up, reducing the stresses and strains many small businesses go through daily.
Let’s face it, fraud is prolific and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Keeping up your level of awareness is the best way to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. Start by reading information on credible websites like Financial Fraud Action UK or the UK Police.
Contact Tax Agility
To speak with a professional chartered accountant to discuss your accounting concerns, contact us today on 020 8780 2349 or get in touch with us via our contact page to arrange a complimentary, no obligation meeting.