- Personally receive your unopened bank statements each month.
- Reconciliations of your statements should balance your records.
- Reconciliations should be performed monthly, within 30 days of receiving your bank statements.
- Report any discrepancies to the credit union immediately.
- Segregate financial responsibilities - do not have the same person balance the bank statement and issue checks.
Some items to watch for are:
- Cheques to suppliers or people you don't know.
- Cheques made out to cash.
- Signatures that look forged.
- Missing or out of sequence cheques.
- Cheques in which the payee does not match the name in your register.
- Cheques made to a third party but endorsed by someone in your company.
- Periodically review your cheque register to ensure that cheques are in numerical order and that there are no cheques missing.
- Keep blank cheques locked away in a secure location, account for missing numbers, and periodically inventory your remaining supply. Have a "voided cheque procedure" requiring validation of all voided items.
- Never sign a blank cheque.
Some questions to consider:
- Are they living a lifestyle not commensurate with their wage income?
- Are they the first to arrive at work and the last to leave? § Are they taking vacations?
- Are they adequately supervised?
- Are they highly territorial over their accounting function, especially if the employee is solely responsible for accounting?
- Have you performed background checks on employees, including temporary ones?
- Keep duties separate. No single employee should be responsible for financial transactions from beginning to end.
- If you are placing online orders, ensure that you are doing so on secure internet sites (with URL that begins with “https:/” and a lock symbol that will show in your browser), or place your order by telephone or mail.
- Ensure that you keep your login access codes confidential, especially to your internet banking sites. Do not share these with anyone.
- When your computer is not in use, shut it down or disconnect it from the internet.
- Do not respond to unsolicited e-mails from companies requesting you to validate or verify personal information. Change your passwords often.
Understand your books
- Team up with knowledgeable professionals who can help you understand your financial picture, especially if the numbers don't look right.
- Monitor daily deposits and use dual control procedures for cash. Personally prepare or review the cash deposits.
Shred/destroy any paperwork that you no longer require including bank records, credit card statements, credit card/loan solicitation letters, receipts, etc.