“Respectfully, I think you are going at this in the wrong way.
As investigators, one thing we encounter every time we speak to a group of dentists is that, in the area of embezzlement, they consistently underestimate the capabilities of their opponents.
The most common question asked of us is, “Will this control/procedure/auditing step work?” followed by some procedural change that the questioner intends to implement. Normally, this change is designed to block a specific embezzlement methodology.
For example, one question recently asked in a presentation was whether using a “lockbox” system, where all mail gets delivered to a third party (which then opens the mail and inventories the contents), would prevent embezzlement.
This question is an example of denial of opportunity strategies for controlling embezzlement, because its goal is to block a specific embezzlement pathway.
While we don’t think that strategies of this type are necessarily bad ideas, we do believe that their effectiveness in controlling embezzlement is overestimated.
Three out of five dentists will be embezzlement victims
Dr. Jones loved her practice, enjoyed her patients, and felt very lucky to go to work every day and do what she loved to do. She also was well aware that a major reason her work was so enjoyable was because her office manager handled the financial side of the practice effectively and efficiently. She could enjoy doing what she did best — helping patients improve their oral health — while not worrying about the financial details. In fact, she frequently bragged to other dentists about how lucky she was to find such a hard-working office manager. She was saying that right up until the day she found out the office manager had embezzled $150,000 from her practice!
How could this happen? How could she be so wrong about somebody she thought she knew so well? The surprising answer is that her story is not unique; embezzlement in the dental office happens far more frequently than most dentists realize. But don’t take my word for it. Join me in a conversation with David Harris, CEO of Prosperident — the only company in North America specializing in dental embezzlement prevention and detection— who has been investigating embezzlement in dental offices for more than two decades. You may be surprised at who is likely to embezzle from your practice and what it really takes to minimize your risk of being a victim.