Spring Is In the Air

We got just enough sun for me to get the horses out. Horseback riding is an important part of my stress management program. It is so important to take time out from your work to recharge.

This month’s discussion is about processes you can implement to reduce your risk of theft in the workplace. Theft and fraud can be devastating for a small business and significantly impact the business’s ability to survive. You can use the principles of separation of duties to minimize your risk.

Fraud occurs at the intersection of opportunity and intent. The goal of this month’s tips are to remove obvious opportunity by implementing “separation of duties”. Best practices for cash management include separating responsibilities so no one employee is responsible for all of the cash handling. By separating duties, you create checks and balances in the cash management process.

Bank Deposits

Have one person deposit checks and cash at the bank and another prepare the deposit and complete the bank reconciliation to prevent cover up of a shorted deposit. This is particularly important with cash deposits but is also good practice for checks. Best practice is to photocopy or scan each check copy and cash receipt in a batch totaling the amount of the deposit and to keep these copies with your records. You can even attach this deposit information to the deposit transaction using the document capture feature in QBO.

Bill Pay

Have one person review and approve bills and another person write the checks. If you use your bank’s bill pay feature or Bill.com to pay bills, request a copy of the report indicating each payment that was processed for the day so you can compare with the approved payments. Make sure that your review of the bills includes a review of the back up documentation which should include packing slips and a copy of the actual invoice. This documentation can be scanned and attached to each bill using the document feature in QBO.

Payroll

Have one person review and approve payroll time cards and another person prepare the payroll. The time card approver should review and approved the finished payroll to ensure extra hours have not been added to paychecks. If you use the integrated time card system in QBO, these hours will automatically populate your QBO payroll module for the correct period. This feature has the added benefit of minimizing data entry errors in payroll.