Business Theft and Fraud: Detection and Prevention. CRC Press; crcpress.com; 338 pages; $79.95.
More than two-thirds of employee theft cases occur in small business operations, and more than half of victimized businesses have fewer than 25 employees. These statistics, from Business Theft and Fraud: Detection and Prevention help explain why even the smallest organizations need to know how to detect and prevent fraud and theft.
With experience in the military, law enforcement, and the private sector, and degrees in financial management and criminal justice, author James Youngblood, CPP, has the appropriate credentials to write a definitive book on the subject. He understands the differences between the operations of small and large businesses, and he offers techniques to thwart theft in all types of organizations.
For instance, background investigations for potential employees are important for all organizations Small companies may be hindered from conducting adequate background investigations due to budgetary restrictions, time constraints, and reduced applicant pools. Large organizations have greater monetary resources for background checks, are able to distribute the workload until replacement help is acquired, and usually attract more applicants for various reasons.
In any case the insider threat is a primary concern of the text. Other timely topics include the protection of brand integrity and brandjacking, the sale of bogus or counterfeit brand name merchandise, cybersecurity, technology-based fraud, data breaches, and ransomware. Encompassing a breadth of information for those concerned with theft and fraud, this book explains such important concepts as how to identify sales underreporting, track sales by shifts, and educate employees to be aware of computer scams. Throughout the work the thread of internal theft and shrinkage is prevalent.
Some suggestions to enhance the utility and flow of the book include using a linear presentation of information for easier understanding. Chapters of few pages could be consolidated with other relevant chapters, and many sub-topics could be combined. For example, both chapters 4 and 5 deal with financial statements: consolidation of these might be more effective. While some sub-headings are presented as questions, others are statements, possibly creating some confusion. The explanatory endnotes might better be incorporated into the text, while a bibliography would help readers find further resources in some subject areas.
The overall visual presentation is professional with quality materials and clear typeset. Two appendixes list organized retail crime associations and examples of phishing emails, and there is an extensive index. This book is recommended for security and business management professionals as well as loss prevention practitioners desiring a roadmap for the detection and prevention of business theft and fraud. It could also be used as a primary or supplemental textbook in college courses focusing on internal and external theft and fraud, as well as cyber issues.
Reviewer: Paul D. Barnard, CPP, CISM (Certified Information Security Manager), SFPC (Security Fundamentals Professional Certification) is an adjunct professor in loss prevention and security management programs. He has been a member of ASIS International since 1975