DE's Business Lab: To catch an embezzler

Dec. 7, 2021
There are several red flags that an employee might be embezzling from you. Here's what dentists can look for and how they can prevent embezzlement in the first place.

No dentist wants to face the possibility of an employee embezzling from them. David Harris, CEO of Prosperident, has an impressive resumé when it comes to figuring out criminals, including his book, Dental Embezzlement: The Art of Theft and Science of Control, which guides dentists in how to prevent embezzlement and what to watch for in your office.

While it's hard to imagine any of your employees being thieves, David said there are some common red flags to watch for in an embezzler's behavior, including being territorial and uninterested in taking vacation. Harris says that 70% of the time the signs you will notice are behavioral as opposed to 30% that are financial signs. 

"Your bank account is not going to disappear overnight," he told me. "Embezzlers usually take about 2% to 4% of practice collections over a long period of time. This prevents them from being quickly detected."

Dentists should not believe that embezzlement will not happen to them. Watch my chat with David in the first of a series of videos about embezzlement in our quest to help you avoid becoming a victim.

For more informative videos from industry experts on a variety of hot topics, visit dentaleconomics.com/videos and dentistryiq.com/videos.