The remote work environment has become a standard operating practice within the past year. This change presents small businesses with new challenges including the opportunity for fraud and avoidance of internal controls which are typically in place at the physical office. Blackman & Sloop encourages all small businesses to reevaluate their current processes to ensure effectiveness and prevent fraud in a remote environment.
To help implement preventative measures and improve internal controls, focus on the following areas:
- Segregate duties and be stringent about documentation.
- Ensure management sets clear and consistent examples for the organization as a whole.
- Keep communication lines open and create a positive work environment.
- Provide guidance to employees, including consistently enforcing policies that promote fairness. Have regular discussions and training for new employees regarding company policies.
- Management should listen and be aware of pressures that could compromise an employee’s decision making skills.
In general, awareness is the key to preventing fraud. Limitations on group gatherings and workplace regulations will continue to affect the way businesses operate for the foreseeable future. It is imperative that you take the time to reevaluate and continually monitor your company’s internal controls to adapt to new regulations as they arise.
Wondering if your internal controls are strong enough? Contact Blackman & Sloop to discuss improvements or implementation.