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Burglar alarm not helpful after the fact

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  • | 9:55 a.m. September 2, 2010
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Jerry Marlar, an executive with a Bradenton-based accounting firm, ended an Aug. 23 luncheon panel discussion on business ethics with a jarring statement: His firm, CPA Associates, gets at least a call a month from a local business victimized by employee theft or fraud.

Heads nodded in unison across the room when Marlar then spoke about how difficult it could be for a business to overcome a large employee theft. Marlar also says it's not only a recession-era phenomenon, but in a tough economy people might be more aware of it.

Marlar's message to the crowd of fellow executives and entrepreneurs at the lunch event put on by the Sarasota Business Ethics Alliance is that business owners need to be especially proactive in preventing a problem.

“You need to not only have a mission, vision and values statement,” Marlar says, “but you need to have a system in place that encourages honesty.”

And past that, he adds, protect your company by being careful with who does what. “Don't dangle temptation,” says Marlar.

Sarasota business consultant Terry Miller founded the BEA earlier this year. The group plans to host a local awards event and a national conference in 2011.


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