When your small business hires an employee, does it ever cross your mind that the employee one day could be the focus of a credit card fraud scandal?
While most employers will avoid having to deal with this, you may come face-to-face with an employee or employees who will test the waters, trying to scam your business out of money when using a company credit card.
In order to lessen the chances as a small business owner of dealing with credit card abuse in your office, keep several factors in mind:
• Work together with your card provider – Make sure you have as many protections in place as possible so that abusing credit cards is made harder, not easier. Look into items like spending limitations, making sure major expenditures meet with managerial or supervisor’s approval, etc;
• Get the message across to all employees – It is also important for you to be clear with your workers that any fraudulent usage of a card will lead to dire consequences, including termination of a job and possible prosecution by authorities. Employees should be instructed to review the policy and sign off on it. In the event an employee crosses the line with a company credit card, they cannot claim they were unaware of the rules, regulations and possible disciplinary outcomes;
• Treat all employees the same – It is unfair to assume that the first person in the office to abuse a credit card will be a newer employee or someone lower in the office hierarchy. As cases have shown over time, sometimes it is the longtime employee who abuses the cards. They may think they’ve built up a trust with their owner and can more easily get away with such actions. All employees should be reminded of how to properly use an office credit card and the consequences of not properly doing so;
• Review rules and regulations yearly – It never hurts as the small business owner to sit down with your staff once a year and review the office credit card process. A little friendly reminder of how to and not to use an office credit card never hurt anyone. Make sure employees know that they must gain approval in using the card in the first place, must provide receipts for each purchase in a timely manner, and must report any discrepancies to a manager or supervisor in the event the numbers don’t add up.
Not only is credit card abuse against the law, but it can damage your company’s financial outlook and reputation, leaving you in danger of having to rebuild or in a worst-case scenario close your doors.
With much to lose and nothing to gain when credit card abuse takes place, be sure all your employees know the credit card policy from the start.
Photo credit: creditnet.com