BUSINESSES are being warned to keep on top of credit control and cash management during the Christmas and New Year periods to prevent increasing levels of employee fraud.

Jeremy Rowe, director at Pierce Forensic, part of the Blackburn-based Pierce Group, warns that his team traditionally sees cases of fraud carried out by business employees increase during December and January as financial pressures pile up.

Such fraud can include theft of takings, cash, or stock, and Jeremy warns that, due to staff holidays and the festive season, the usual checks and controls many businesses have in place can be overlooked.

He said: “During the festive season people face many financial pressures with Christmas, and monthly-paid staff often have a six-week gap between pay packets.

“A few simple tips to follow can include a regular review of financial records, planning meetings with financial staff, and encouraging an open-door-policy for staff.”