For growing your business, it is essential to establish solid foundations of internal controls such as auditing, accounting, purchasing, and damage control planning. Every small business needs these internal controls to manage the money correctly. Without this, you are leaving a lot of money on the table for fraud. Employee theft is a big problem for a small business that cannot recover from the loss. According to U.S Commerce Department reports, 30% of business fails because of employee theft, and many of them are the smaller firms that cannot afford to recover from the loss.
Here are the tips that can help in ensuring financial control:
Keep the duties separate. Never assign related obligations to one employee. For example, the person who writes the checks should never be the one who signs them. Or the person who checks the mail should never record the receivable or reconcile the accounts. When you divide the responsibilities, it becomes difficult for the employees to steal from the company and manipulate the records.
Reconcile your bank statement
Receive your bank statement personally and match it with your business account. Carefully review every transaction, check, and receiver. Examine the payees and signs on each check and monitor any fraud activity.
Sign all the checks yourself
No matter what, always sign every check yourself. Doing so will help prevent employee theft.
Before sending, review the payroll and check for any variations in the amount. For reducing the risk of payroll fraud, use direct deposit. Direct deposit may be a time-consuming task, but it is worth it in the end. Review every check and make sure they are for your employees only. If you find any unknown name, go, and find that person. Keep a weekly or monthly count of the number of people on your payroll, and then verify that number against the number of checks you have. Ensure that no one can make any changes to your company’s master payroll file without your permission.
Keep personal and business finances separate
You may consider it easy to use your bank account for your business as well, but in the long run, both your personal and business finances will suffer. And this can be a tremendous headache for you in the future. For running your business smoothly, it is essential to open a business account and get a separate credit card to help your company build its credit rating.
If you need to use your business money for personal expenses, transfer that amount into your bank account and use it. If you need a loan for your business, document it properly with a promissory note specifying repayment terms.
Carefully monitor your company’s checks
Carefully monitor and check every single check. Keep your corporate statements in a locked drawer, and don’t give the key to anyone. Always use pre-numbered checks and search for missing check numbers from time to time. Never sign a blank check.
Closely guard your receivables
Hire more than one employee for counting and verifying incoming checks. Buy a “for deposit stamp only” and use it on all incoming checks. The stamp can prevent the company from employees theft. Investigate the customer’s complaints regarding payment issues. Get a back and front copy of the customer’s check and make sure it is deposited into your business account only.
Send your bookkeeper on vacation
Sometimes those employees who seem most loyal by not going on vacations are doing fraud with the company. For concealing their theft, they never take a leave. To stop this from happening, make sure that the person handling the responsibility of bookkeeping or accounting goes on a vacation every year, at least for two weeks at the end of the month. Use this time to review the documents and books and look for discrepancies.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.