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Good lord, chess savant Hans Niemann (allegedly) cheating in over 100 games? That seems to be what the chess community and reigning chess champion Magnus Carlsen insinuate. Apparently, not only the chess world has fallen victim to a false scandal. The fishing community is rocked after it was recently unveiled that lead weights were used to overestimate the size of a fish caught in a Lake Erie game. When will this madness end?
The fact is, it will never end. Cheating is as American as apple pie. I know this because I have been running a small business for over 25 years. And when you run a small business for that long, you get used to people cheating on your money or business. They are everywhere and on both sides of the business.
It’s the woman in California who would have eclipsed? over a million dollars from her employer. Or another woman in Pennsylvania who was charged with theft? $2 million from her employer’s credit card. Let’s also give a shout-out to the accountant from Albuquerque who is thought to have stolen? $175 thousand from her employer and another accountant in Rhode Island who had to pay? $600 thousand she stole from her employer. Oh, and let’s not forget the ex-Apple employee that was accused of theft, kickbacks and money laundering in the amount of $10 million. Or the administrator of the Yale School of Medicine, who pleaded guilty to taking over $40 million. Yes, 40 million dollars.
But it doesn’t stop with the employees. Some entrepreneurs can’t be trusted either.
Like the restaurant owner in New York’s Hudson Valley who was convicted of setting fire to? his company for the insurance money. Or the owner of the restaurant in Missouri – and a lot others — who allegedly scammed? the government from the funds of the Paycheck Protection Program. there is the dinner in Pennsylvania and the BBQ joint in Texas that (allegedly in the case of the BBQ place) cheated on its employees with their tips. And another man in Hudson Valley (Is there something in the water?) who was convicted of fraud potential franchisees of his bagel business. And then there’s the restaurant owner in Connecticut who was convicted and the car shop owner in Florida who was accused of fraud with their taxes.
Related: Confessions of a cheating nation: One in four have stolen from their employers
These are just some of the stories that have actually hit the media in recent months. But you and I know we’re just on the surface. There are cheating employees who steal office supplies and inventory and take sick days when they are not actually sick. There are scammers who defraud the government, overbill their customers, negotiate in bad faith with their suppliers and promise their employees compensation that they never intend to pay. Many of these things never make the news. A lot of things like this are happening right now. Many of the people who do this never get caught.
It’s not just Hans Niemann who cheats. There are cheaters everywhere. And anyone who has run a business for a while will attest to that. It is a fact of life. So here’s some advice: Don’t waste time getting mad, angry, or frustrated. You will never stop cheating. But you can minimize the financial impact on your business. How?
Related: ‘Lying and cheating to get money’: Elizabeth Holmes trial begins in California
Start by demanding that people in financial positions take time off several times a year because fraudulent accountants find out when they are not around. Be sure to separate financial duties so that the same person who handles cash doesn’t handle the books or billing. Requires multiple signatures and multi-factor authentication on your bank account and receive notifications when certain transactions are completed. Have someone outside your company do the bank reconciliations because another set of eyes often sees things. Close your office supplies and inventory. Install security cameras. Pay attention to your ledger and financial statements and ask for anything that seems unusual. Trust your people, but verify. Don’t be cynical, be realistic.
And you? Are you cheating on your taxes? Your customers? Your suppliers? Here’s some news for you: people know. They can tell. The word is doing the rounds. And if you act like this, I can guarantee you that you won’t have a very successful, sustainable business, because ethical business people don’t do business with unethical people. And doing business is all about trust. And reputation. There is no doubt that you will miss out on deals, projects and customers. I know. But you do too.
Cheaters are going to cheat. Even chess players and fishermen. Also your employees. But not you. If you’re an londonbusinessblog.com, there are plenty of reasons to sleep at night. But you can minimize your losses from your cheating employees. And you can rest a little easier if you can look at yourself in the mirror every morning.