There is always an opportunity of being tricked. To avoid this you should pay your attention to a combination of the following steps. Having taken it into your consideration you will be prevented and detected from payroll fraud:
1. There must be segregation of duties at all times. You should separate payroll preparation, authorization and dispensation functions.
2. Advise payroll records for unusual "accounting" adjustments. There may be excessive payments without deductions, large payroll reversals near year-end, etc.
3. You should use cheque payments minimally. Do the same with increased use of payments by direct deposit.
4. Try to monitor payroll records for duplicate names/addresses or postal codes, wrong identification numbers and other inconsistency.
5. Separate segregation and inadvertence of correction made to payroll master files, such as direct deposit details. It will stave off incompetent changes.
6. You have to conduct surprise audits. This will assure you that all employees on a payroll exist and have an employee file.
7. There should be reconciliation and independent reporting of variations in payroll expenditure month to month, quarter to quarter with supporting documents as well as comparing current payroll levels to prior years.
8. To identify previous deceivers you should conduct through pre-employment reference checks for all payroll administrators.
9. Reconcile payroll expenditure and the actual amounts paid to the authorized payroll on a regular basis. The next you will have to do is to conduct immediate follow-up whenever differences are identified.