How to Prevent Embezzlement at Your Medical Spa

Posted By Mike Meyer, Wednesday, January 27, 2021

frustrated person

By Robert J. Fisher, JD, ByrdAdatto

For a business owner who has put their life and blood into building something special, discovering an embezzlement scheme can feel like an uppercut thrown in a heavyweight fight. It is a personal attack, and such a breach of trust and violation of personal security can leave you dazed. Making matters worse, it is often difficult to reverse the damage and recover what has been taken, leaving an owner without a satisfying resolution. Accordingly, it is important to take action and have a plan in place from the beginning to prevent embezzlement and catch wrongdoers before too much harm occurs. There are three areas we would recommend focusing on:

Preventive Measures

There are a variety of prevention tactics that can a business owner can utilize, but it is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all prevention system. Similar to a boxer needing to tailor his fighting style based on his specific opponent, an embezzlement prevention plan needs to be customized and tailored to the business's environment and operations. Whether it is the chain of command, information verification procedures, employee screening or a simple accounting review, a prevention plan should address the specific embezzlement risks that exist in the business's industry and workspace. Further, once the prevention plan is developed, it must be memorialized in the policies and procedures of the business, implemented, enforced and audited. Simply having the plan in writing does not make it effective, unless it is utilized and adapted to the changing work environment.

Vigilant Detection

Using the developed prevention plan, you must stay vigilant in your review of potential wrongdoers. You have to keep your hands up and protect the head from taking too many hits. Embezzlement often occurs in small amounts that are not readily noticeable, but over time, those small amounts can add up and cause serious problems. Additionally, embezzlement tends to be conducted by someone close to you, whom you would not otherwise suspect. Proper preventive plans and detection procedures keep everyone accountable and allow you to trust those around you, since you know safeguards are in place.

Trusted Advisors

A trainer, cornerman and cutman all aid a boxer by providing advice, strategy and first aid to keep their fighter in the match and on the winning path. Surrounding yourself with trusted advisors helps take the burden off you and allows for others to aid in detection. You should have a team of attorneys, accountants, financial advisors and mentors who can be relied upon and be second, third and fourth sets of eyes on operations to aid in stopping embezzlement before it occurs. While you may not be able to catch everything, a trusted team of advisors can assist in developing effective prevention and detection strategies and programs.

AmSpa members receive a complimentary 20-minute Introductory Compliance Assessment with a ByrdAdatto attorney. Click here to learn how to join AmSpa today!

Robert J. Fisher's passion for health care traces back to his high school days of shadowing doctors. His passion evolved in college to study as a pre-med major. The last major evolution of Robert's interest in health care was the transition to an interest in health care law. With this education, a business attorney for a father, and a renowned orthopedic surgeon for a father-in-law, Robert has the pedigree for success as a business and health care attorney at ByrdAdatto.

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