If you have been lucky enough and attended basic accounting 201 and 202 classes, you will be very familiar with the words “dual control”. Everything related to financial transactions is subject to dual control. This means you should incorporate processes and procedures into your daily accounting function that does not give total control over your accounts receivables and accounts payables into the hands of one person.
Your business may not be large enough to have multiple employees who work in your accounting/book keeping department. Therefore you will most likely have one person “Your Book Keeper” who creates invoices being sent to your customers, receipts the cash, check or credit card transactions from your customers for payment of these transactions, reconciles your checking accounts, your credit card statements, orders supplies, orders inventory parts and then pays for the parts and the supplies. Maybe this person also handles the payroll and pays expense reports. Now, one thing he/she probably doesn’t do is sign the actual checks. Well, good for you since at least you have one control in place.
If this description of your book keepers job description matches one that you currently deploy, trouble is brewing on the horizon. But why do you care since you are still drawing a pay check. Oh but wait, this is your company, you are responsible for everything in the end. But you as the owner of this small company are so busy with networking, generating sales leads, managing your operations, dealing with unhappy clients, exploring new business opportunities you couldn’t possibly spend time supervising your book keeper too. Besides, Mary Beth has been with your company for the last 5 years. She has always done an excellent job.
But today is the day when you will receive that call from a customer who doesn’t understand why you have run his credit card multiple times for a transaction. Or maybe the bank calls and tells you that your account is overdrawn. Or your vendor contacts you about unpaid invoices. Or you apply for a loan and you need to provide financial statements but the numbers don’t add up.
You realize that something is not right and the need for an internal theft investigation has arrived. Although you are good at what you do in your business, you don’t know how to even begin to conduct an internal theft investigation. So what is the first thing you need to do to un-do these events and get to the bottom of this situation? An internal theft investigation will include quietly compiling evidence of any fraudulent transactions, controlling your emotions and obtaining professional help.
For more information about internal theft investigations, contact us or call 1.770.913.2467 – Atlanta Georgia