Being able to trust your team is the gold standard but introducing a few simple processes ensures that is much harder for someone to abuse your trust.
Think about these tips to safeguard your business and keep your trusted relationships strong.
Good systems make it easy to understand and hard to hide things. If you have a system, make sure it’s documented. They don’t have to be complicated. For instance, when you refund a customer, make sure it’s signed off by a manager or yourself and recorded somewhere central. Checklists can make a system easier for staff to understand and work with too.
Have systems in place to routinely look at where your money’s going or that require you to sign off on key transactions.
Do you have regular reporting? Things to look for are unusual customer refunds or credits, a spike in new suppliers or payments to existing ones. Do your sales look right? Is there a dip in cash sales?
Know what benchmarks other businesses in your industry are hitting. Compare your profit to overhead ratios with theirs and question inconsistencies.
Red flag any of your systems where only one signatory is required or only one person oversights income and expenses. Make it part of the monthly routine to run the bank statements by more than one pair of eyes. Consider whether training up ‘buddies’ to share key financial responsibilities might make it harder to siphon off funds unseen.
Buddy systems can strengthen your succession plans as well as taking the pressure off when a signatory takes holidays. Ironically, it seems that people engaging in suspect activity tend not to take holidays for fear of being found out as they know someone else is performing their duties.
We can help you with risk assessment for your business and help you strengthen your systems if needed.
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