Mark A Master, Sheldon H Eveloff
Employee fraud can take many forms within a physician practice. But the accounts payable operation, poses an especially big risk. If it isn't tightly controlled, someone intent on committing fraud can easily slip an improper vendor invoice or other fraudulent document through the cracks, thereby draining precious practice resources. To minimize these opportunities, you need to beef up the security of your accounts payable system. Here are some key fraud prevention measures you can start today: 1. Watch for unusual entries. 2. Validate purchases and expenses. 3. Be wary of "impatient" vendors. 4. Verify that your bills alone are being paid. 5. Scrutinize canceled checks. 6. Track vendor billing patterns. 7. Keep an eye on refunds. 8. Be alert to tax fraud. For the fraud-conscious practice, having -- and adhering to -- strong internal controls is akin to practicing preventive medicine. Done properly, it's your best line of defense against all sorts of staff outbreaks of fraud.