Inside Job: Preventing Employee Theft By Erin Henley

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    cashEmployee theft costs businesses billions of dollars each year, and major changes in workers’ attitudes and characteristics make incidents of employee fraud more likely than ever before. According to Boca Raton, Fla.-based ADT Security Services’ 2004 National Retail Survey, employee theft accounted for nearly half the total $31 billion in lost revenues due to all types of theft at retailers, even more than shoplifting,

    Self-storage is not immune to this type of theft—in fact, the industry is particularly vulnerable because so many managers work virtually unsupervised, presenting ample opportunity for wrongdoing.

    “It’s basically one or two people working alone, and they see their direct supervisor once a month or every six weeks,” says Hal Moore, owner and head coach of Alexandria, Va.-based Moore Creative Concepts, a training and consulting company whose primary clients are in the self-storage industry.

    The Great Temptation

    “The greatest temptation for misbehaving at a self-storage facility is cash,” says Moore. “There are a number of ways to take cash. The most prevalent way is to take it out of the proceeds—you rent the unit and then you take the rent money. You don’t put the rent money in the register, but you say that you do. Eventually you’ll get caught because the accounting department and the home office will try to balance the cash flow to the deposits and they won’t match.”

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