How to Prevent Fraud & Employee Theft in Your Business – Policies & Plans

Many small business owners believe that since they’ve got an intimate, close-knit operation, they’re not susceptible to fraud when, in fact, the opposite is true. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reports that small businesses experience more instances of fraud than medium or large companies do. By designing and implementing appropriate internal controls at your business, you can detect fraud as it occurs and prevent employees from attempting it in the first place.

Who Commits Fraud

While you may think that fraudsters are hardened criminals who jump from job to job, the Journal of Accountancy reports that most individuals who commit occupational fraud are first-time offenders. Also, very few fraudsters take a job with the intention to defraud the business.

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13 Retirement Planning & Savings Mistakes You Need to Avoid

Financial professionals have been sounding the alarm for a long time warning that a retirement crisis is coming. The National Council on Aging says more than 23 million Americans age 60 or over are already living at or below the federal poverty level. And still, much of the working class is ignoring the warnings and the struggles of those around them.

According to the Federal Reserve, only 13% of Americans have given their financial planning for retirement “a lot” of thought. Half of Americans say they either only thought about it a little bit or they haven’t thought about it at all. Yet the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) shows that confidence about being prepared for retirement spiked in 2014 and again in 2015 after sitting at record lows between 2009 and 2013.

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5 Black Friday Shopping Alternatives – Reasons to Stay Home & Still Save

Black Friday – the Friday after Thanksgiving – has traditionally been viewed as the kickoff to the holiday shopping season. That’s less true today than it used to be, with many stores unveiling their holiday deals well before Thanksgiving, but there’s no denying that Thanksgiving weekend is still a major shopping event. According to the National Retail Federation, more than 133 million Americans shopped in stores and online over Thanksgiving weekend in 2014, spending nearly $51 billion dollars – about $381 per person.

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Computer Hacking Methods & Examples of Cyber Criminals – Protect Yourself

Perhaps your Internet searches are being redirected to sites unrelated to what you want to find. Maybe your antivirus software has inexplicably been disabled, or the speed of your computer has slowed to a crawl. These and other symptoms could mean you’ve been hacked. Worse than just a pesky virus, an attack on your system directed by a hacker can be far more damaging and costly.

Many users believe they are too small a target to be attacked by hackers. Previously, cybercriminals may have agreed with that assessment, but that is quickly changing. Today, hackers see an individual’s data as low-hanging fruit. Without the need to get past sophisticated corporate firewalls, or bypass complex security protocols, the idea of penetrating your personal computer’s almost nonexistent defenses becomes very attractive.

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Should I Join the Peace Corps? – Benefits & Drawbacks of Service

Want to see the world and experience other cultures? The Peace Corps may be right for you. Each year, approximately 15,000 to 18,000 Americans apply to serve. While locales vary from year to year, present opportunities range from the islands of Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, to the mountains of Nepal and Peru. Volunteers serve in China, Madagascar, South Africa, and 50 other countries around the world.

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Top 5 Personal Finance Tips for Recent College Graduates

When you’ve recently graduated from college, the world can seem like your oyster. After four years of unpaid internships or part-time jobs, you suddenly can see full-time employment with a full-time salary on the horizon.

But sometimes, finding a full-time job can be more difficult than you thought it would be – and you may find yourself still at that part-time job, even though you have a degree in-hand. And even if you do land a full-time job, your post-graduation salary might not be as high as you thought it would be.

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10 Ways to Save Money Eating Out at Restaurants

In many books and articles about saving money, a common piece of advice about dining out is simply, “Don’t do it.” After all, when you eat out, you’re not just paying for the food – you’re also paying a hefty markup to have it cooked for you and served to you.

According to The Wall Street Journal, to make a profit, a restaurant generally has to charge about four times as much for a dish as it paid for the ingredients. So even if you can’t buy the ingredients as cheaply as the restaurant can, you’re still bound to pay less by doing your own cooking.

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Best New Bank Account Promotions, Offers & Free Money

stack cashWith many financial institutions experiencing a decrease in profits, banks are vying for your business. This is good news for you, because instead of just offering standard perks like no fees, free checking, or a free pen when you sign up for an account, some banks are raising the stakes with cold hard cash, giveaways, and great interest-bearing products.

November is a good month for bank promotions from both big and small banks. Banks are giving away a lot of free cash to attract new customers and get them to open up accounts. The banks listed below have some pretty sweet deals that you should take advantage of if you are in the market for a new bank.

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10 Best U.S. Cities to Live In Without a Car – Benefits of a Car-Free Lifestyle

According to the 2015 edition of AAA’s Your Driving Costs, the average annual cost to own and operate a vehicle in the U.S. is $8,698. This includes fuel, maintenance, tires, auto insurance, license and registration fees, taxes, depreciation and finance charges – but not the cost of vehicle storage or parking your car at a meter.

Even a small sedan like a Honda Civic or Ford Focus can set you back $7,606 annually, while a large vehicle like a Ford Explorer or a Jeep Grand Cherokee has a yearly expense of $11,931. The cost of owning and operating a single car can exceed the monthly food costs for a family of four, while operating two cars in a family can generate costs greater than the average mortgage payment in the United States.

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Should I Buy Refurbished Electronics? – How It’s Different From New & Used

Say you’re in the market to buy a new laptop. The one you’ve got your eye on is the MacBook Pro, but you can’t find a new one for less than $1,200, which is out of your price range. As you hunt online for a better price, you come across several offers for older MacBook Pros secondhand – some for as little as $250.

This sounds like a fantastic deal, but you hesitate. You suspect that if someone else is getting rid of this computer, there must be something wrong with it. You worry that the computer won’t work at all or will break down within a week or two, leaving you out $250 with nothing to show for it.

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