Staffing Industry Paranormal Investigations

Do you have Ghost Employees?

Paranormal investigation may be a fun hobby for staffing firm owners, but it can be a very financially dangerous situation when Ghost Employees enter a staffing firm.

Ghost Employees are employees you pay, but do not actually work for you.   For most staffing firms, payroll expense is their largest expense.   Paying fake employees is not something that fits into most budgets.

This type of fraud is typically committed by an internal employee connected with the payroll.  The Ghost may be a real person working as an accomplice, or completely fictitious.

Is Your Staffing Firm Haunted?

  • Is your gross profit percentage dropping for no identifiable reason? -  This could be a sign you have ghosts.   If the perpetrator is paying employees and not billing them, you will see a decline in your gross profit.
  • Are customers calling with invoice corrections? - Some fraudsters will try to mask the gross profit fluctuation by billing the employee to customers.  Make sure you are doing your research when customers call with invoice corrections. 
  • Do you have payroll checks clearing with dual endorsements? - Although often legitimate, make sure your are giving consideration  to the possibility of fraud when checks clear with dual endorsements.
  • Is there duplicate information in your database?  -  Ghost Employees take effort  to create.  Some fraudsters will take the path of least resistance and clone their Ghosts.  Duplicate social security numbers, names, addresses and bank account numbers could be a sign that your firm is haunted.
  • Are you missing personnel files? - Fraudsters will rarely take the extra step of creating and maintaining personnel files.  Be mindful of files not containing all the necessary information to activate an employee or entire files going missing.

How to avoid calling the Ghost Busters

  • Segregation of Duties -  Staffing firms should make sure the preparation, authorization and processing of the payroll is handled by different people.  Requiring clients to sign timecards  and having your payroll processed by an outside provider are two ways to implement this segregation.
  • Hand Out Your Checks - One easy control to put in place is to have an employee that is not involved with the payroll hand out the checks to your staff.    Ghost Employees rarely want to show their faces.  
  • Get Caught Ghost Hunting - Make sure you are researching duplicate information, reviewing employee files, investigating billing errors and following up on checks left behind.  Ask questions.  One of the greatest deterrents to internal fraud is the fear of getting caught.  

With a watchful eye and putting a few controls in place, staffing firm owners  can prevent  a haunting from occurring in their office. 

Tricom Funding has been a leader in Back Office processing in the staffing industry for over 25 years.

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