AXIS_Strategies for Preventing Employee Theft

Employees account for a large percentage of small business thefts. These are the most common ways employees steal and various theft prevention strategies that can deter stealing.

Cash Diversion

Employees can accept cash payments without recording the transaction. One way to deter this form of theft is to avoid giving multiple employees access to a cash register. Alternatively, not accepting cash payments or outsourcing all accounts receivable can eliminate cash payment theft.


Transferring money from a business to a personal account, forging checks, and creating fake vendor accounts are examples of fraudulent employee activity. Theft prevention strategies include vetting new hires, separating accounts receivable and payable, performing routine audits, and limiting access to sensitive finance reports.

Data Theft

Employees steal proprietary information to gain an unfair advantage for themselves or their employers’ competitors. Still, small business owners can safeguard their data with strategies such as requiring employees to sign confidentiality agreements, routinely changing passwords, disabling computer USB ports

Expense Reimbursement Fraud

Employees who falsify or miscategorize expenses for reimbursement are guilty of fraud, but employers can avoid unnecessary payments by requiring pre-authorizations for purchases over certain limits. In addition, they can require employees to use business credit cards to make purchases and review statements for accuracy.

Employee theft can contribute significantly to a small business’s financial losses. Therefore, every business owner should be aware of this behavior and implement a strong theft prevention strategy.