If you want to minimize the likelihood of experiencing embezzlement, you need to think for a moment like an embezzler. Embezzlers want control and autonomy, they do not want anyone looking over their shoulder, and they hate being away from their job because someone may discover their scheme. Once you understand how an embezzler thinks, you can then take steps to look less unattractive to anyone who contemplates stealing from you.
The first step is to establish a routine of reviewing key end-of-day reports. You can cover a lot of ground by dedicating five or ten minutes each day to this review. Make sure your beginning accounts receivable balance matches the ending accounts receivable balance from the prior day’s reports. If it does not match, you need to clearly understand the reasons for the discrepancy.
Review your collections report and make sure the totals tie to your deposit slips for cash, checks, credit cards, and EFT transactions. Compare your beginning-of-the-day schedule to the production report: did the team post all production correctly? Were any patients omitted from the report? Also, look very carefully at your adjustments, deleted transactions, and deleted appointments, and ask questions about any that are unclear.
The next way to protect your dental practice is very straightforward: require the team to take lunch and breaks away from their desk or work area, and mandate that everyone take their allotted time for vacation.
Finally, insist that your team is cross trained, especially with tasks involving the collecting and posting of money. Cross training is also good insurance for times when team members are out sick.
With a little additional effort, you can make your practice even stronger, and in doing so you will also make yourself less attractive to an embezzler.