Small businesses are always at the risk of failure. While poor cash management is one contributing factor, the real culprit is internal theft. Thus, fraud prevention for small businesses should be a top priority.

Crimes vary from simple cash register skims to sophisticated embezzlement that siphons off capital for months, potentially years.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners “Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse: 2014 Global Fraud Survey” indicates that the typical organization loses 5 percent of revenues each year to fraud. The median loss due to embezzlement was $130,000.

The report found that the smaller the business, the more disproportionate the loss. Why? Smaller business tend to shirk on anti-fraud controls. As a consequence, cash and funds sneak out the back door, vital business revenue is stolen, and the business faces tremendous loss.

It’s often the case that by the time fraud is discovered, it’s too late. Forensic accountants arrive long after a significant amount of money has been siphoned off, costing businesses dearly. However, they should still be utilized. According to the report, organizations that implemented proactive fraud prevention measures resulted in losses 60 percent smaller and schemes 50 percent shorter in duration than organizations that did not implement fraud prevention measures.

“Small businesses face a unique set of challenges when it comes to detecting and preventing fraud,” says James D. Ratley, president and CEO of ACFE, adding “Losing … money to employee theft is an expense many small businesses just can’t absorb. You rely on the trust of your employees to make your company successful. But how much trust is too much?”

Considering that small businesses don’t have money to burn, the extra cost of lifetime protection seems like a good investment. There are also ways small businesses can protect themselves, including:

- Conduct background checks on all employees

- Write-out and implement a code of ethics

- Divide bookkeeping and bill payment authority

- Deliver unopened bank statements to top management

- Develop a reporting mechanism or hotline for possible fraud

Keep in mind that the vast majority of fraudsters are first timers, often working with a company for years before they start to embezzle. While a background check won’t predict fraudulent behavior, you should always proactively monitor and understand any risks or warning signs.

To learn more about fraud protection for your business, feel free to contact ProPay. Call 888-227-9856 or email marketing@propay.com.

Cyberattacks and security breaches are growing exponentially around the globe, putting financial data of companies and its customers at risk of an attack. Businesses large and small need to make cybersecurity a serious priority and as much a part of daily operations as marketing or accounting. Otherwise, cybersecurity breaches that compromise financial data could result in a massive loss of revenue and credibility for your business.

In the U.S, businesses from every industry face huge financial losses every year. Well-organized cybercriminals attempt to steal money, sensitive data and property; hackers try to access trade secrets, and foreign governments are conducting industrial espionage.

As of 2012, the Center for Strategic International Studies in Washington, D.C., estimated that cyberattacks were costing businesses worldwide about $445 billion per year. U.S. firms alone are losing about $100 billion annually, leading to the loss of about 200,000 jobs a year, according to the center. The vulnerabilities are the result of network connections growing rapidly worldwide. But now, in the smartphone era, hackers aren’t just looking to compromise your personal computer or laptop.

“The growth in all these connected devices and systems presents vast opportunities for criminals, “says Mark Fidel, president of Albuquerque-based Computational Network Security & Enterprise Solutions LLC. He adds, “We have to think of every device as a doorway that they can come through. If it’s adequately secured, it’s hard for them to get in but, if it’s not, it’s really pretty simple.”

As personal devices abound, new system vulnerabilities are adding up, giving businesses a lot more financial risk. In addition, most industries have digitalized nearly all their data, thus increasing the amount of sensitive information that cybercriminals can steal.

To avoid any financial disasters or damaged credibility, businesses from across every sector need to ensure protective measures are in place and they’re effectively monitored and maintained. Some concrete actions businesses can take include encryption technology and working alongside IT professionals to regularly assess risks and update security.

To learn more about cybersecurity and how to protect your business from malicious attacks, feel free to contact ProPay. Call 888-227-9856 or email marketing@propay.com.

If you’re a small business owner, you want more money. Startups are expensive, and often more money goes out than it comes in.

While many financial problems can be solved temporarily with more money, the majority of small business owners must work with what they have. This means being financially intelligent and using your available cash resources effectively. Below, we discuss 6 tips that will enhance your company’s ability to improve financial management.

1) Do The Math

In order to effectively track the money that goes in and out from your business, you need to determine the true costs of your products and services. This includes labor, rent, marketing, insurance, utilities, taxes, and anything else required. But don’t stop here.

2) Find Out Your Hidden Costs

Have you borrowed money? Has interest and debt accrued? Do you have legal expenses or other hidden costs?

When determining the true cost of your business, you also need to factor the expenses of legal services, your own salary and capital for future expansion. Many small business owners forget to calculate these hidden costs. However, once you know how much money it takes to run your business you can start thinking ahead and plan how much you’ll need to grow.

3) Know The Marketplace

Get to know your marketplace. Analyze competitors, determine their strengths, weaknesses, and whatever opportunities therein. Ascertain how your company compares in terms of goods, services, and pricing. Also, work on thoroughly understanding your customers and figure out what they want. The best way to do this is to just ask.

4) Invest In Technology

Technology contributes a lot of value to your business. Things like mobile devices, cloud-based servers, financial management tools and online banking allow small business owners to increase productivity and work from anywhere more effectively.

5) Find A Trustworthy Professional

Accountants and bookkeepers are invaluable partners to your small business. They can calculate the total costs of your business, tell you where it’s going, and the best way to get there. They’ll analyze your financial data and provide you with an overview of your opportunities and needs.

6) Set Priorities

Obviously, you want your small business to make a profit. But how will you accomplish that? Do you want to see your product on every shelf? Do you want to expand your brand or stay small and work with only high-end clients? Identifying what you want and your priorities will better determine the future course of your business.

To learn more financial tips to help make your small business successful, feel free to contact ProPay. Call 888-227-9856 or email marketing@propay.com.

Many businesses in America are still using checks to pay their bills. The majority of businesses in the United States use checks to pay for over half of all expenses. However, it is time to consider utilizing online direct payments to replace your use of checks.

One reason is the high cost of issuing checks. There are several reasons why checks are more expensive. The paper on which the check is printed costs money. If checks are sent through the mail, postage needs to be paid. Checks must often be signed personally, which is very time-consuming, and that time must be compensated if an employee is on the clock. Valuable time is also expended in other ways, when checks are collected, mailed and reconciled.

Security concerns are another issue which is holding many businesses back from making the switch to an online payment system. With several high-profile data breaches featured on the news in the last several years, many people are apprehensive about how well digitally transmitted data is protected. Today such information is almost always encrypted, making payments more secure than ever. Checks, of course, are not immune to fraud. People have been known to steal checks from mail boxes, wash them, and then make the checks out to themselves. With the security measures that exist today, digital payments are definitely the safest method of making purchases.

Checks also have a great impact on the environment, from the paper that they consume to the fuel that is burned delivering them. Ditching checks is one way to go green, and if a business promotes such an environmentally friendly change, it generally causes goodwill among potential customers, and more profits as a result. If your business would like to make the transition from checks to digital payment, feel free to contact ProPay. Call 888-227-9856 or email marketing@propay.com.

There are many important small business financial success tips, but in order to use them you should first control your spending.

Starting a small business can be a time of excitement; however, if you do not control your spending, this excitement can eventually turn into stress. Preventing this stress can help save your business and your mental health.

Watch Your Borrowing

When you start your business, you may think your money-making ability will be endless. However, it is a fact of life that some small businesses end up failing. You want to make sure that you do not expand too fast and borrow too much money. Assume that you will have to pay back all the money you borrow. Be careful and you should be able to borrow while still being safe.

Find a Mentor

Small businesses can also be the targets of many scams. Fraudsters love to attack businesses that are small and vulnerable. If you find a mentor to help guide you through creating your business, then you will be able to save more money.

Services for businesses can vary tremendously. Having someone to turn to who knows about running a business can be a great asset. You can spend as little as possible while still getting the services and utilities you need.

As you can see, controlling your money flow is essential. If you are practical and do not assume that your business will become successful overnight, you should be okay. Find a mentor if you encounter expenses you do not know how to manage.

feel free to contact ProPay. Call 888-227-9856 or email marketing@propay.com.

« Previous PageNext Page »