Here are 2 simple ways to reduce the likelihood of fraud and embezzlement in your practice. In total, these should take 3 minutes out of your day, but can help catch deceitful activity.
Gross Accuracy Check – Simply compare the total collections for the prior 6 months as listed in your practice management software (Dentrix, Eaglesoft, etc.) to the monthly deposit totals as shown on your checking account statements. These two totals should be roughly equal. If they aren’t and total deposits shown on the bank statements are smaller, it could be an indication that funds were posted to your practice management system as a collection but didn’t make their way to the bank account. In other words, the money could have been pocketed. Cash collections are easiest to embezzle, but a savvy criminal can also find ways to embezzle credit card payments as well as electronic insurance payments.
Accounts Receivable Balance Check – The beginning accounts receivable balance for today should always match the ending accounts receivable balance from yesterday. The same thing should apply for monthly beginning and ending accounts receivable balances. If for some reason these balances don’t match, then it’s likely an indication an entry in the past has changed. If your office has a habit of altering past transactions, then it can make it very easy to also hide entries made by a criminal to hide fraud and embezzlement. Whenever possible, try to make correcting entries with an adjustment using today’s date to maintain the integrity of the accounts receivable balances from one day to the next, and one month to the next. Practices that have good internal controls in place should find no difference when comparing their beginning and ending accounts receivable balances.
While these two steps can help reduce the likelihood of fraud and embezzlement in your practice, they are by no means the only things you need to be concerned about. ADA studies have concluded around 50% of doctors will have some form of fraud and embezzlement impacting them in their careers. Unfortunately, many of them will be stolen multiple times. So, there is no better time than now to make these checks a part of your daily routine.
If you have any questions about these checks, or have concerns about the results you have found, please reach out to your Fluence manager.