In a thriving business environment, it’s the reponsibility of every employer to use every tool at their disposal to stop employee theft and embezzlement. Pre-employment background checks, universal background screenings, and employee credit checks are vital tools that every employer needs to use to address employee theft and embezzlement. A report from analyst Marquet International Ltd., in 2012 indicated the year was record-setting for embezzlement. The average loss in the over five hundred cases included in their study was $1.4 million dollars.
The Marquet report also revealed that less than 5 percent of embezzlers who stole over $100,000 had prior criminal convictions. This poses an interesting dilemna for employers. If these embezzlers had no criminal convictions, employment background checks would not have uncovered any red flags on 95 percent of these future embezzlers, and they would have been hired with no reservations whatsoever.
But there are other tools at the employers disposal. The use of credit checks is a vital tool for screening job applicants who could possibly turn to theft or embezzlement. Credit reports can reveal possible financial stress in an applicant’s life. Revealing these sources of possible financial stress can be extremely effective in predicting possible job applicant risks for embezzlement.
It is widely accepted that credit checks are necessary and required for any position where an applicant’s personal financial history has a direct bearing on their future job responsibilities. If you’re a banker, or a financial officer entrusted with a large amount of budget or capital, it is reasonable to expect that you demonstrate a reasonable ability, aptitude and history for managing money wisely. Had background checks and credit checks been run on those 95% of future embezzlers, it’s quite possible that the percentage would have been much lower.
Employee embezzlement is not only a “big business” problem. All businesses, big and small, need to keep a sharp eye out for employee theft and embezzlement. Using tools such as employee background checks, universal background screenings and credit checks, employers can assure themselves that they’re using the best tools at their disposal to hire the best employees available in this thriving business environment.