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Practice Embezzlement - In Whom Can We Trust?

Practice Embezzlement - In Whom Can We Trust?

7/13/2015 6:34:10 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 162

Dentists are plagued with the potential of being victimized by embezzlement. Experts estimate that over 60% of dental practices will suffer from embezzlement with loses that average over $100,000. What are even more disturbing are who embezzles and why they steal, how they steal, and the warning signs that are commonly ignored. A brief discussion on embezzlement in the dental practice cannot be adequately served in just one post, so lets begin with who steals, why they steal, and what you can do to prevent loss.

Sadly, experts find that those responsible for embezzling are often a longtime employee, sometimes a family member, and almost always someone who they trust and respect. This scenario leaves the dentist’s guard down while the rogue employee gains tacit knowledge on the inner-workings of the office and realizes the potential opportunities in which they can cover their tracks. Typically, this tacit knowledge only provides the means, while an underlying situation provides the motivation. Often, those stealing attempt justifying their actions with: gambling problems, drug addictions, and financial hardships, while law enforcement professionals generally attribute their actions to simple greed and envy.

Despite the employee’s excuses on why they stole, when considering the methods they used, greed and envy seem a bit more appropriate. According to Dentistry IQ Magazine, embezzlement is commonly executed via:

1 Stealing cash from office

2 Making office deposits into their personal accounts

3 Open secret accounts for the practice, but in their name

4 Open a credit card in the dentist’s name

5 Adjust patients records, post a credit, and take the money

Lastly, the warning signs for embezzlement are too often overlooked, under valued, or not even noticed. Despite the closeness of the embezzler and the dentist, these changes in a person’s behavior are easier to attribute to something else than to confront them. Below are some key warning signs that every dentist should be aware of:

1 Employee is resistant to change, especially office management software that can detect fraud and embezzlement

2 Unexplainable accounting adjustments

3 Decrease in collections

4 Decrease in cash deposits

5 Employees not taking vacation, working late, and last to leave the office

6 Employee appears to be living beyond their means

7 Employee becomes a control freak or takes ownership of responsibilities

Embezzlement is stealing, regardless of who stole, and it will cost your practice hundreds of thousands of dollars. In our next post, we will discuss prevention, oversight, and investigation. Until then, remind yourself that those likely to steal are someone you trust, respect, and have know for a longtime, and that several creative methods exist that will take money out of your pocket.

 For more information on integrating Umbie DentalCare into your business strategy call (855)835-5424. Reach our Connecticut office located at 169 Main St. Suite 800 Middletown, CT. Mail: info@umbiedentalcare.com

- See more at: http://blog.umbiedentalcare.com/newpost/Practice_Embezzlement.html
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