A great oak tree grows from an acorn is a well-known saying. In life, we also know that most successful criminals started with one small act that proved to be successful. In both situations, the environment for growth were supportive of the growth of the tree and the criminal.
This blog is about business and not about horticulture, therefore understanding how your business supports criminals to steal from you is our focus. It is also important to understand, this criminality includes businesspeople and employees stealing your assets. Make no mistake, such businesspeople and employees are no different from what is recognised as a “common criminal”.
The conditions which allow criminals to succeed include:
- weak and inexperienced management and a poor organisational culture,
- lack of risk awareness, including risk management protocols,
- failure to create adequate control measures and separation of duties,
- a sale at all costs policy,
- inadequate sales and purchasing documentation and disciplines,
- eliminating all opportunities which create credit claims and product refunds,
- poor and inadequate technology and digital philosophies,
- a lack of committed and professional long-term employees,
- failing to keep up to date with outside factors which affect your business,
- failing to fight for your business’s rights, etc.
The above list could easily be extended. Once you understand and act on the above factors, many other negative factors will be eliminated by your actions.
The reason why criminals and formerly trustworthy employees become efficient criminals is usually due to management’s theory that the acts are of small dollar value or so infrequent, they could easily be hidden or written off without consequence. In addition, the dollar and time expense to create the “perfect business”, was therefore not deemed worthwhile or deemed to be too dollar expensive.
Too late, management realises the cost and time to repair the damages caused by a failure to control criminal actions, was neither quick nor inexpensive. Furthermore, even if management now acts professionally and practically as they should have from the beginning, there is no guarantee that the business can be saved, or their reputations and finances damaged beyond repair.
As anybody in business can confirm, as the oak tree grew from an acorn, so do expensive problems grow from a small single act.