007: Wendy Askins – How to Identify and Deal with Dental Embezzlement in Your Office
Welcome to another episode of The Dentalpreneur. On today’s show we are talking with Wendy Askins. Wendy is the senior investigator at the world’s largest dental embezzlement firm, Prosperident. Wendy has over 25 years experience in the dental field, has an MBA, and degrees in physiology and criminology. This makes her uniquely qualified for her field.
All of that and more on today’s episode of The Dentalpreneur.
More About This Show:
Wendy explains on this episode that 25 years ago she got started in the dental field because she needed a job. As fate would have it early in her career, she worked at an office that was being embezzled from. Seeing the disaster that happened in her own office helped push Wendy into this career as a Dental Embezzlement Investigator.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- How to spot an embezzler
- Steps to take to minimize your risk of being preyed upon by an embezzler
- Signs that someone on your team is actually stealing from you
- How dental embezzlement is more common than you think, the ADA, in 2004, put the numbers around 65% of offices are embezzled from but after Wendy went to her records she believes the number is actually closer to 80%
Wendy goes into detail on this episode about:
When a practice owner suspects embezzlement, Wendy and the team at Prosperident are called in. The team at Prosperident then signs into the dental software and run a series of tests. These tests are run off site at Prosperident headquarters. Neither Wendy, nor the staff at Prosperident, ever meet any of the suspected employees. This allows the investigators to focus solely on the information that the office provides through its program. This allows unbiased results.
After reviewing the information she receives, Wendy is then able to confirm or deny embezzlement in the office.
If Wendy is unable to find embezzlement in the office she then runs a report of areas that need clean up. This makes it difficult for embezzlement to happen in the future.
If Wendy is able to confirm embezzlement however, she then helps the owner take the proper steps and legal action to get rid of the embezzler.
Wendy cautions that there is a very specific process that must be followed to guarantee that the embezzler cannot come back and file legal actions against the owner. The Properident team can then help practice owners file charges against the embezzler if they choose.
She warns that is it required to file charges to alert anyone, including potential employers of the embezzler, that he/she stole from the company. If charges are not filed, owners may only disclose that the embezzler was an employee and would NEVER be hired again. She goes on to say that many dentists have riders in their insurance that they are unaware of that covers some of the losses they incur from embezzlement. Wendy and her team can help take practice owners through that process as well.
Wendy’s Red Flags of Employee Behavior:
- They may look like your best employee. They stay late and come in early and never take vacations. Wendy states they do this because they need to always be there to dissolve potential situations, and they also need to be there when no one else is around to see what they do.
- Wendy states that the best way to weed out the embezzlers from the great employees is when there are questions about payments owners should ask them to explain the transactions. An honest employee will know the answer or go find it right away, and an embezzler will say I am not sure and avoid and dodge the subject.
Tips to Protect You from Embezzlement:
- Pay attention to employee’s behaviors. Prosperident has a 31 question, questionnaire that is very telling of an employee’s potential for embezzlement
- Reject the idea embezzlement that embezzlement can be prevented. The fact is if an employee wants to steal, they will.
- Look at deleted payments at least once a month or once every other month
- Do a payment method analysis of the last five years for cash vs. collections. It should vary from 1-2%. If there is a huge drop that is a sign of embezzlement
- Do reconciliation between bank accounts, dental software, and accounting software
Thanks to Wendy Askins for the great information in this episode. As always thanks for joining us. See you next time on The Dentalpreneur Podcast.
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- Email Wendy at email@example.com
- Prosperident’s phone number is 902-422-0592
- Prosperident’s website is prosperident.com
- Email Prosperident directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
- You can also subscribe to Prosperident’s new letter, which has great weekly information.
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