While it is easy to understand the vulnerability of solo and small group practices, it is tempting to believe that larger organizations, which generally have better controls, professional management, and centralized services should be less prone to embezzlement. Unfortunately, this belief does not hold up in practice, and many DSOs face significant issues from employee theft.
DSOs face unique vulnerabilities:
- It is easier for thieves to rationalize stealing from a large entity.
- The accounting split between practice management and accounting software limits the ability of a DSO’s auditors to find fraud.
- For DSOs experiencing rapid expansion, control systems often lag behind the growth.
- Associated dentists and complicated earnout arrangements create vulnerabilities.
- Oversight of individual practices by staff without dental backgrounds often limits their ability to monitor deceptive transactions.
- Affiliating with specialist practices can pose additional risks.
- Centralization of functions creates an additional layer of embezzlement risk.
- EBITDA-based affiliation transactions are vulnerable to manipulation.
As the oldest and largest company specializing in the investigation of employee theft in dental entities, Prosperident works with both established and emerging DSOs to help them achieve a higher level of protection against embezzlement. Some of the services that we provide are:
- Performing investigations on practices where specific embezzlement concerns exist.
- Conducting stealthy rotating audit programs where we review an agreed percentage of a DSOs practices annually.
- Assisting with the development of metrics to identify at-risk practices and those selected for audits.
- Performing “affiliation audits” to protect a DSO against acquiring an embezzlement issue.
- Reviewing internal controls and the functioning of enterprise-level departments to identify vulnerabilities to embezzlement.
If you are involved in management or ownership of a DSO and are interested in lessening your organization’s vulnerability to embezzlement, we would love to speak with you. Click the button below to arrange a time to speak with our CEO, David Harris.Arrange an Appointment to Discuss Your DSO