The next step is to start looking for areas of vulnerability.
The next step is to start looking for areas of vulnerability. Here's a list of prevention measures whistle-blower Noelle Tarabulski recommends:
1. When hiring, review résumés for evidence of job-hopping. Try to avoid it in construction and accounts payable positions.
2. Do driver's license and criminal record checks on all applicants.
3. In interviews, discuss issues of ethics, and ask the candidate to discuss anything experienced in the past.
4. Do not let superintendents manage money.
5. Variances above $500 should require sign-off of the owner or president.
6. Review variance purchase orders weekly.
7. Estimator cannot change original budget once submitted to accounting.
8. Where site conditions call for special measures, require digital photos documenting the need.
9. When moving dirt, be sure all loads are ticketed and digital photos are taken before and after.
10. Require two people from the firm to be involved in all movement of large quantities of dirt.
11. Concrete and foundation variances must be accounted for with photos, tickets and a take-off by an estimator.
12. Have clear control over vendor input into the accounting system to avoid dummy vendors.
13. Have random, unannounced internal audits done occasionally by outside accountants.
14. Have a written supplier bill of rights and encourage trades and suppliers to report unusual demands directly to owner.
15. Set up either a full purchase-order-and-variance system or invoice-over-budget system.