Accountability through Dashboards – Stopping Fraud
There are so many positive reasons to use dashboards that we often forget about an important other area to consider – stopping fraud. It is great to increase sales, save time, reward top performers, establish best practices and promote great results that derive from using proper dashboard management. Everyone loves to reward performance and find excellence. A great part of accountability is acknowledging, promoting and rewarding excellence.
We also have a duty to our organizations to protect it from bad behavior. Unfortunately in many professions partners or those that deliver services have the opportunity to cheat their organization. Without proper safe guards a person can do work for others while getting paid by one organization, bill separately for services done on behalf of the organization or other forms of using time and resources that should be applied to organization but not allowing the organization to reap the compensation to which it is entitled. While these efforts are often found in the end, an organization can risk financial ruin if not discovered quickly enough. At the very least an organization is deprived of its rightful rewards that harms those entitled to the earnings.
By establishing dashboards, reports or other accurate measurements of both operational performance and/or financial compensation a manager can observe changes in behavior that may be intentionally or negligently occurring. With a history of past performance and a process to monitor behavior on a regular basis, it is possible to discover changes in production, sales, expenses or other critical factors that can occur when unethical behavior is happening. Without measurements and observation a large organization may allow staff to either fraudulently take invoices, cash or inventory without being noticed. When regular reports are created for inventory versus sales, billable hours by staff, procedures by medical staff or other similar performance measures, changes are quickly noticed. By catching lower numbers quickly, further research can stop the loss. For example, careless record keeping could explain unbilled services, video tapes can show theft or lower billable hours can be examined to see if work is not being done that needs to be done.
Studies show that accountability is desired by top performers, helps middle performers to improve and provides protection from those with bad intentions. The book ‘Leadership without excuses’ by Jeff Grimshaw and Gregg Baron discusses studies that show most people do better work when accountability is consistently applied. In fact, without proper accountability, there is a loss of performance as many have lower performance when expectations are not clear and there are no consequences for inadequate performance.