Using Dental Software to Prevent Practice Embezzlement - Part 3
In this, part three of our series, we will look at another method an employee can use to embezzle money from a practice. This method involves editing or deleting transactions.
When the patient is checked out, the employee may enter all of the procedures, fees and payments exactly as they should be entered. Perhaps, even a walk-out statement may be printed. If the employee has been given permission through the security system, any or all of these transactions can be deleted or edited to show a lesser amount charged and paid. The employee can then keep the money.
Let's talk for a minute about the security system. Most dental software programs allow an administrator to set up permissions for each employee. Of course, the ACE program has the ability to limit who in the practice can enter transactions, edit transactions and delete transactions. This may give some a false sense of security. It is an unfortunate fact that many dishonest employees are some of the most trusted employees. These of the employees who are most likely given permission for this type of activity.
The first line of defense in preventing this type of activity lies in the normal reporting system. The doctor should review the production report, collection report and day sheet every day. The doctor should look for any discrepancies. If any patient was seen and does not appear on these reports, an explanation should be forthcoming. If any of the fees seem suspicious, further investigation is warranted.
The second line of defense lies in the audit trail. The best dental software programs always provide an audit trail of all transaction activity. ACE Dental Software provides this in a deleted/edited transaction report. This is a secret report, that is, it is not mentioned in our documentation. Access to this report is only given to the doctor. This is a powerful report that keeps a copy of every deleted transaction. In addition, the report keeps a before and after copy of every edited transaction. If an employee is using this technique to embezzle from the practice, this report will catch them red-handed.
The B and A types are Before and After edits. The D type is a deleted transaction.