August 29, 2014
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Coleman Report
At the beginning of the month I wrote — One of my professors in my MBA program at the suddenly stopped his lecture in mid-sentence and slowly stared at the class. Going completely off-topic he said, “I don’t care how big your company is, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER let someone else sign your business’ checks. Once you go public fine, but until then make sure you control your own cash!”
The story was about a bookkeeper who ripped off the company $250,000 over a two year period.
Today’s story is about a Maine bookkeeper who is alleged to have taken $750,000 over a three year period.
“According to the criminal complaint and an affidavit by FBI agent Paul Pritchard outlining the accusations against Woods, she had access at her job at Grover Gundrilling to a signature stamp with the name of the company’s chief executive officer. She allegedly used it between January 2009 and January 2012 to write 169 checks from the business account to herself.”
The takeaway is the same. Consider asking your customers two questions. 1) Who signs on the checking account? 2) Are the statements sent to the owner’s home address or to the accountant? I add one more. 3) Why would you ever consider a signature stamp?
Enjoy your long weekend!