The year 2020 has pushed the limits of many industries, including the hospitality industry. Restaurants, particularly, have displayed admirable flexibility and have been forced to focus on narrowing margins on products, staffing concerns, online ordering, business capital funding, and increasing social footprint opportunities. However, amidst this changing environment, restaurateurs should always remain vigilant to protect themselves from fraud and be aware and proactive about mitigating. These times especially, can cause enormous pressure and seemingly logical rationalization for employees, vendors, and others to commit fraud. Employee fraud is the most common and takes observation, analysis, and control procedures to assess and correct.
Employee fraud centers around the services they perform—recording sales, handling cash, access to inventory, and vendor interaction. Choosing the most effective solution to mitigate employee fraud requires an initial investment by the owner, in which the restauranteur should consider the cost versus the return.
Proactively mitigating fraud through process observation, segregation of duties, and random testing of control protocols will ensure time to focus on guests’ dining experience. Trusting employees while at the same time, removing as many tempting opportunities as possible for fraud will create a less stressful environment. Should the need arise for external consultation on any scenario involving the mitigation of fraud, know that ATKG is on board to help. Reach out to your trusted ATKG advisor to address any questions or concerns you might have.
Stay tuned for our follow-up issue addressing online fraud, which is on the rise during the pandemic.
Marcus Cantu is a Tax senior with ATKG and an excellent example of a business professional who successfully started a second career. He spent several years in management for the foodservice industry before starting his career in public accounting. He is a proud, two-time the University of Texas at San Antonio alumni with a Master of Accountancy and a Bachelor of Science in Biology.
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