Reducing Check Fraud with an Electronic Check Signer
You will find that most people believe that businesses are targeted mainly for check fraud. Many of the people who choose to prey upon these companies are considered professionals or organized crime rings. These individuals are experts at counterfeiting and check alteration. Payroll checks are sometimes a favorite target; however, all business checks can be targeted due to larger accounts that can be accessed this way. Keep reading to learn some tricks and tips on keeping your business checks safe and secure.
Who is to blame?
Businesses have had to start taking a role to ensure that the checks that are being issued in their names are secure. What this means is, if the financial institution that they are utilizing offers specific check security features and those measures are refused, the business could be held responsible for at least some of the loss due to fraud. For example, if a bank offered specialized check stock that had an added security feature that would help to prevent a particular type of fraud, and that was the type of fraudulent activity that that business fell victim too, then that business would be held liable for their negligence.
Order and Reorder Checks, as Well as Deposit, Slips Carefully
You will want to make sure you use a reputable financial institution or check printing company. This will ensure that your checks will process quickly. If your bank offers features that will help to prevent fraudulent activity, you will want to make sure to take full advantage of those features. If for any reason your new checks are not on time or arrive open or tampered with, you will need to contact the supplier as well as your financial institution.
Physical Security of Excess Checks
When ordering more checks than you will be using immediately, you will want to ensure that all extra checks and deposit slips can be placed in a locked area. To ensure a limited amount of exposer to fraud, you will want to minimize the number of people who will be granted access to the checks. Any time an employee with keyed access to your secure area leaves your company, you will need to change the locks immediately.
Keeping Track of Issued Checks
When creating an accounts payable team, ensure that you have more than one person on the team and that there are different areas of payment that are covered by the separate team members. This responsibility division will make it harder for checks and payments to be altered. Another way to lower check fraud is to decrease the number of check signers. While you want to limit the number of people who can sign the checks, you may want to increase the number of signatures required to make the checks valid.
If you change any personnel with your accounts payable team, you will want to let your financial institution know immediately. This will ensure that no former employee will have access to your accounts. Do not have the same person who writes your checks be the person who reconciles your accounts. One of the fastest ways that you can detect fraud is by frequent reconciliation. For this reason, we recommend that your accounts are balanced as frequently as possible. When large amounts of time have passed between when fraud happens and when it is detected, the business could be held liable for some or all of the losses.
Electronic Check Signers and Your Security
With today's electronic check signers, you can automate a process that has for many years taken up to much of our business industries payroll hours. Some people believe that by eliminating a physical signature, we have opened a new facet for theft and fraudulent activities; however, this could not be farther from the truth. Due to built-in security measures associated with many of the electronic check signing devices, you may find that the automated process is even more secure.
Among many of the check signing software available on the market today, you will find those that allow you to print the entire check with the signature. This process will utilize blank check paper that you can order from your bank or financial institution. These check papers can often include security measures, and most electronic check printing software consists of the ability to add certain safety features. Some of these features will consist of added graphics to words and dollar amounts as well as a detailed graphic signature panel.
Another safety feature included with many check signers is the ability to add multiple signature plates. Just like manual signing, having the extra signatures required on your checks makes them more secure.
PBS Office, Your Business, and Your Safety
Regardless of your check signing method, be sure to follow all of the check safety protocols and tips listed above for better fraud protection for you and your business. If you believe an electronic check signer or check signing software is right for you, please do not hesitate to contact us here at PBS Office. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff would be glad to help you decide on the best check signer for your business.