Fraud is a major cause for worry in many business organizations today. This vice is known to cause heavy losses and can even lead to closure of the business. One of the major forms of fraud in business is Till Fraud. This form of fraud is mostly perpetrated by till staff. In a wider loop, customers have been known to orchestrate till fraud, by way of jumping bills or demanding for excess change.
In this article, we will look at ways of detecting till fraud and how to apply them effectively. It is important to note that till fraud does not only involve till staff, but has also been known to go as high as managers. This point should be put into consideration when deciding on the best way of deterring this vice.
How to Detect Till Fraud
There are some behavioural changes to look out for when investigating till fraud. These will help identify suspicious characters and aid in deeper investigation. Some of these signs include:
- Marked personality changes where members of staff will look stressed and under pressure. This could be as a result of coercion into performing or facilitating fraud by other members, mostly of a senior rank. Investigations will reveal whether the changes are genuine or feigned, and whether they are as a result of engaging in fraudulent activities.
- Members of staff willing to work extra hours until late. On the surface, this could be seen as dedication but it should be investigated especially if the individual works at the till.
- Till staff members who are unwilling to take leave should e investigated, as this trait could lead to their involvement in fraud.
- When members of staff start living beyond reasonable means, investigations into the source of their wealth should be carried out. This is necessary to determine the exact source of wealth and to rule out their involvement in fraud.
There are numerous other signs of fraud in staff, and it is imperative that investigations be carried out to determine the reasons for exhibiting these signs. Where there is proof beyond reasonable doubt that a member of staff engages in fraud, disciplinary measures need to be taken against them.
There are several systems that can be put in place to help detect till fraud in a business operation. These are important because they are monitored remotely and also keep records of every transaction taking place. Some of these will be outlined below:
- Installation of integrated Point Of Sale monitoring systems This involves the installation of a Point of Sale system that integrates the transaction details and captures them on receipt.This system allows for almost complete access of all transaction details, and puts aside the use of manual recording. The best thing about the Point of Sale system is that it is not reversible, and once the transaction has been entered it can only be changed by the administrator. Retail outlets and hospitality businesses that deal with a large number of service staff have taken to this system.
- There are new methods of enhancing the Point of Sale monitoring system. These include linking the system to closed circuit television camera surveillance to provide visual recordings of all transactions.These cameras record sales and returns, showing the visual details of the customers and the staff members who performed the transactions. Accompanied by the actual till point receipt details, these visual details provide irrefutable proof of transactions and make the detection of fraud easier.
The components of an Integrated Point of Sale monitoring system An overview of the integrated point of sale system and how it works is presented below:
- The cashier office or till is provided with a POS system, which includes a computer and an attached thermal receipt printer. This is where the recorded transaction details are captured and customer receipts printed. The system is connected by a network to the administrator system, where the monitoring of records versus sales is done.
- Closed circuit cameras are installed at vantage points, capturing visual recordings of customers and staff. The point of sale system can be connected to the camera administrator system by a local area network or Ethernet. This allows the administrator to access simultaneous visual and transaction records as they happen.
These records are automatically saved to the system and can be retrieved any time for investigative purposes. For remote monitoring, the system is linked by wireless internet to the remote monitoring site. This remote monitoring site could be a PDA live monitoring unit, a mobile live monitoring unit or a live video and audio monitoring system.
These till fraud detection security systems are known to reduce the vice drastically, saving businesses from heavy losses. Some of the problems they help detect include cash register shorts and surplus, unexplained loss of cash,unexplained voids and pilferage.