Prevention of embezzlement is impossible, but, detection of embezzlement is fairly easy if you go about it the right way.  Here are ten tips, written by embezzlement expert, David Harris, CEO of Prosperident, that take very little time and can make your practice much less vulnerable to embezzlement:


1. Print reports yourself: This prevents the possibility of a staff member using “selective reporting” in the information that they give you.

2. Review and initial day sheets. Retain for three years or more. You may need these someday if embezzlement is suspected.


3. Review entry log (alarm system). Staff members coming to the dental office at unusual times is often a symptom of embezzlement.  Taking five minutes to review this information from your alarm company is one of the best time investments you can make in detecting embezzlement.

4. Review AR listings and compare with previous months. Make sure that balances are “aging” properly in the reports, and ensure that suitable collection action is being taken on older accounts.

5. Review the modified transactions report (the name varies with the type of practice management software you are using). This is a much smaller report than the “audit log” (which can run to thousands of pages per month), and is often a place where certain types of embezzlement transactions can be seen.

6. Have bank and credit card statements sent to your house instead of your dental office. This prevents employee tampering.

7. Use Prosperident’s Monthly Monitoring Spreadsheet (ask for it at to reconcile daily reporting with monthly reporting and deposits.

As needed:

8. Use the Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire.

9. Instill mandatory vacations and cross training for all staff. Everyone from your office should be gone for at least two consecutive weeks per year, and this needs to be done when the dental office is open.  The idea is to force another staff member to do the work that would normally be done by the person on vacation.  This will not happen if vacation is taken a day or two at a time.

10. Use skepticism when hiring (see Prosperident’s Hall of Shame).  Did you know that 65 million Americans (i.e. one in four adults) has a criminal record?  And that published studies suggest that at least 60% of resumes have at least some level of false or misleading information. Often dentists “hire in a hurry” and end up skipping a proper background check for an applicant. From basic items such as checking photo id for job applicants, to having short-list applicants take a drug test, dentists are very reluctant to apply proper screening before hiring.

If you have any  questions about dental embezzlement, contact Prosperident at 1-888-398-2327,, or visit them online at

Author: David Harris, MBA, CPA, CMA, CFE, CFF, CEO of Prosperident

David Harris, MBA, CPA, CMA, CFE, CFF

David has spent a fair amount of time in school, but credits his life experiences (including some youthful miscreance) for forming his leading-edge understanding of how criminals think and behave.

David is the CEO of Prosperident, the world’s largest dental embezzlement investigation firm.  In this role, he gets to see aggressive, clever, and outright greedy embezzlers.

David’s favorite sound is the one a cell door makes when it slams shut on an embezzler.

David is a highly entertaining and engaging speaker who draws on a vast amount of experience in his field.