CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. — While unfortunate, employee crimes against dealers do happen. This week, Automotive Compliance Consultants offered a few tacticts dealers can employ to stop theft from happening in their stores.  

“These events can seem to happen out of the blue, but often in retrospect behaviors, practices, and outside activities were warnings about such individuals,” said Terry Dortch, president of Automotive Compliance Consultants. “These individuals are often more concerned with what they get from their position than what they can contribute.”

Employees need to know from the get go that no internal theft of any kind will be tolerated, and that any violations will cause dismissal at least, and criminal prosecution often, the group stated. Having a third-party audit a dealership’s exposure will often provide the most prevention and peace of mind, the consulting group added.  

One red flag that dealers should keep their eye out for are employing hanging around areas in which they have no legitimate reason to be, according to the consulting group. To protect their assets, dealers should limit access to areas like the parts department, main office, F&I office, cashier office, materials closets and parts cores storage, the group added.

Another practice the group recommends is not having one person in complete control of bank accounts. Different responsibilities, the group stated, should be spread out to multiple people. One individual can handle payoffs for trade-in balances, another can control license and title activities, while a third manages day-to-day bill paying.

Daily reviews of a dealership’s daily operating control sheet should also be conducted, the group recommended. Examining vendor expenses closely will not only familiarize dealers with each of their vendors and the services they provide, it will also expose any irregularities or abnormalities. A swing in profit, revenue or payables may also indicate that a certain aspect of the dealership needs to be investigated, according to the consulting group.

Dealers should also run a monthly report to see what is being wholesaled and the price the vehicles were sold at, the group stated. Additionally, dealers should conduct a monthly inventory of all vehicles to match the dollar amount on the books and/or floorplan.

Data also needs to be monitored constantly. The group recommends contracting with a managed security services provider to monitor a dealer’s network. If an intrusion occurs, the system will be there to alert a dealer’s IT staff so immediate action can be taken.

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