This course is directed to small business owners who are concerned about crimes within and around their businesses. This module will help you become aware of how crime can affect your firm and suggest ways to help prevent it.
Duration of the course: 00:30:00
System Requirements: Adobe Flash Player.
Due to Flash limitations, This course will only play in iOS tablets or mobile devices with additional software installation. Look for Apps on the Apple App store that enable flash playing on IOS devices.
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Slide 3 Course Objectives
This course has three key objectives:
1. Define the issues and describe why crime prevention is so critically important to small businesses
2. Outline practical steps that can be taken by a small business to prevent crimes it may face, and
3. Identify and describe valuable resources to help small businesses prevent crimes against the business
Slide 4 Course Outline
There are multiple topic sections within the course. Each section covers a different aspect of crime and
presents ways to prevent it.
Reviewed together, the topics provide a helpful platform that will assist you in recognizing and
preventing criminal activities against your business.
Slide 5 Course Outline
You will notice a button in the top right section of each slide that says course outline. Clicking on that button will bring you to the course outline, which will give you quick access to any section of the course. Click on the forward arrow‐button to proceed to the next page.
Slide 6 The Issue
Crime prevention is critically important to the success of a small business.
Small firms are more vulnerable than large firms. Inventory, cash and other assets need to be guarded more closely. Small damages to large companies, such as shoplifting, can cause major losses to a small business. More destructive crime, such as theft or burglary, can sometimes cost a business everything. In order to prevent crimes from crippling a small business it is important for the business owner to recognize the potential for crimes against the business, hire and train employees properly, and install crime prevention mechanisms. These steps will help prevent impending crimes from impacting a business.
Slide 7 Theft
Employees can steal both money and merchandise from your business. There are a number ways in which this can happen. One of the easiest ways for employees to steal money is when they are handling it directly. Employees at the registers handle the most money and are easily able to keep track of, and change, the amount of money in the till. It is fairly simple to “accidentally” under‐ring someone, give incorrect change, or not ring up a sale at all.
In such situations the excess money is pocketed.
Shipping and loading docks are locations where employees can easily steal merchandise. If unsupervised, products can be exchanged between the distributor and employee. Do not allow truck drivers to load or unload their own truck. This will increase the chances for merchandise to be stolen. Issuing employees keys to the business or place where valuables are stored is an invitation for theft. It is best to hang keys where they are visible or have them in your possession so you know where they are at all times and when they are in use.
Only make duplicates if and when you fully trust the employee handling the keys.
Slide 8 Embezzlement
Embezzlement can be a significant problem.
Embezzlement occurs when an employee diverts company monies into his or her own pocket or
account. The discouraging thing about embezzlement is that typically the employee is someone who you trust. The following presents several examples.
Simple embezzlement is when the employee receives cash and simply pockets it.
There is never a record of a transaction taking place. A theft of this sort is hard to catch because there is usually never a receipt. Lapping is a more complicated form of embezzlement. It involves the taking of money from one account to pay off another account. While making the transaction, the employee pockets some of the money. This constant “borrowing” of money from different accounts can go on for many years undetected.
Employees working payroll have the opportunity to set up false workers and collect their salary checks. They can also set up false suppliers and purchase items that do not exist, again, pocketing money.
Slide 9 Computer‐Related Crimes
Computers and the internet are an integral part in how today’s businesses are operated. Owners must protect their computer systems both internally from employees, and externally from the general public. Computer‐related crime is on the rise because of the large increase in ecommerce.
Employees may be able to access funds, inventory records, payroll records, and much more vital information about your business from the computer. This is the main way embezzlement takes place. If the software being used and the internet connection are not secure, the public may also be able to hack into the system.
One of the best ways to prevent cyber‐crimes is to set up firewalls and install antivirus software. Keep back‐ups of your records and do not leave all information on one computer or storage devise. Also, monitor employees who are using company computers or who have access to the company’s information, especially documents containing monetary information.
Slide 10 Prevention
To prevent employees from committing crimes against your business, take precautions to hire responsible and trustworthy individuals. In order to aid with this judgment, screen applicants using reference checks, background checks, personal character examinations, police reports, and other examinations you might deem necessary.
Once an employee is hired, set standards and follow them. Make sure rules of the business are understood and strictly adhered to. Explain and train employees on the crime preventatives and security programs your business already has. Make sure they can recognize theft and teach them what to do if faced with a robbery.
Watch to see if employees follow the standards set. Unannounced inspections or tests will help make sure employees are on their toes and following the rules of your business. Closely monitor employees working directly with money. Require audits from employees who work with invoices, receipts and payroll.
Set an example. Show that you are taking every precaution to secure your business and its assets‐ including your employees. Although security and crime are serious, make sure the atmosphere is positive and focused on integrity.
Slide 11 Prevention (cont.)
To prevent theft from both employees and customers, you must also physically protect your business. There are many ways to do this.
Install multiple, strong locks. Consider a timed lock system. Along with opening and closing at certain times, time locks also record all openings. Dead bolt locks, padlocks, or multiple locks are also good security accessories.
Make sure the business is well‐lit, both outside and in. Theft is less likely to happen if the area is clearly visible.
Install a surveillance camera or mirrors. Strategically placed mirrors can help employees and others see all points in the business. Cameras provide a hard copy of evidence if a crime should occur.
Remember, your supervision and inspections of employees are still important even with these helpful technologies.
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