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August 2010
Fraud Avoidance Tips for Small Business Owners
By Theresa Kaake

1. Devise a written corporate policy on fraud. Formally review the policy at a staff meeting.


2. Conduct background checks, check references and contact prior employers when hiring new employees. If you want to perform a criminal history and credit check, be sure to obtain the personís written consent.


3. Cross-train staff and segregate office duties. Require that employees take at least five consecutive days of vacation annually.


4. Be involved. Personally sign all checks. Review deposits daily. Review credit card statements. Send bank statements sent to your home address. Know how your accounting software works. Compare your financial statements to the prior period.


5. Conduct surprise audits. Make sure your employees know their actions are closely monitored.


     Content contributed by the Charlotte office of Elliott Davis, PLLC, an accounting, tax and consulting services firm providing clients the solutions needed to achieve their objectives in 10 offices throughout the Southeast. For more information, contact Dan Warren at 704-808-5210 or visit

Theresa Kaake is a CB and accounting resources specialist at Elliott Davis, PLLC
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