How to deal with employees who steal from bosses

Dear Hustle

Please help. I have a small clothing store and I suspect that my employees are stealing from me. What measures can I take?

Mary Muindi.

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Dear Mary,

Restrict access

Only specific people should be able to access company accounts, from petty cash to bank accounts. Only you as an owner should be able to write cheques.

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Do not keep extra cash around unnecessarily, and any access to it should be meticulously recorded.

Do thorough checks regularly

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Personally assess and analyse every aspect of your business, from the financial records to employee records and taking note of how they work.

Do this unexpectedly to keep everyone on their toes and not give wrongdoers a chance to cover their tracks, as well as to give yourself a chance to identify issues and weaknesses before they escalate to bigger problems.

Get other people to look at your books

As the business owner you may be thorough at looking at your records, but a professional would be able to spot discrepancies that you otherwise would not see.

Get someone once in a while who can look at your numbers and ask the relevant questions objectively, which could help detect those discrepancies and other weaknesses that make your business vulnerable.

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Do background checks on prospective employees

Verify the information people give you at the point of employment, because not screening employees means you may be bringing in fraudsters to your company. In addition, you can conduct lifestyle audits when you employ them.

This does not have to be formal, but you can be observant. If you are paying someone Sh20,000 but their lifestyle indicates a much larger income, it could be a red flag for your business.

Kefa Nyakundi, director of Africa Risk Institute.

We asked you to send in your hustle gripes and you did. In turn, we got answers from seasoned entrepreneurs and investors.

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