Comstock's magazine 1117 - November 2017 - Page 52

n FINANCE Owners also should limit financial authority, say Stalk- er and Davis. That means establishing dual check-signing responsibility for amounts over a certain level and having those who deposit checks return the deposit receipts to someone else, who compares the amount against the bank statement. That also means having a separate person check company orders when they arrive —  in the case of the IT director, someone else should have signed off on delivery to ensure that if 10 computers were ordered, 10 were delivered, Barrett says. Fraud tip lines are essential too. Companies should con- tract with one since they’re the most common way that theft is detected, according to the fraud survey. And Stalker and Davis advise owners to do background checks on all hires who will handle money. Once they’re onboarded, owners should be alert to lifestyle changes that indicate someone living beyond their means. James McCurley, a director and forensic accountant in the Sacramento office of Denver-based RGL Forensics, says companies should meet with an outside accountant every six months. You might pay for a couple of hours of an ac- countant’s time, but that’s well worth the price, he says. Companies also often set an upper-dollar limit on transactions that don’t get the normal scrutiny. That’s ac- ceptable, says Stalker, if you ensure there are too few of them for an embezzler to do lasting damage. If you have only 10 transactions a year of less than $200, you could de- cide those aren’t worth tracking. But 50 in a year might be a different story. McCurley adds a public relations proviso to fraud pre- vention: Make sure your employees see the measures you have in place. Part of their value is to advertise to other employees that someone else is watching the books. Bar- rett says there’s no reason for employees to be offended that they’re being cross-checked. “You have to be clear in your communication: ‘We’re going to look at what you’re doing closely, and it’s not a personal ref lection on you. It’s a safe way to conduct our business,’” he says. In fact, those who put in good controls are doing their employees a favor by not tempting them. “These are crimes of opportunity,” McCurley says. “Rarely do people join a company intending to rip off the owners.” n Steven Yoder writes about business, real estate and criminal justice. His work has appeared in The Fiscal Times, Salon, The American Prospect and elsewhere. On Twitter @syodertweet and at MAXIMIZE THE VISIBILITY OF YOUR COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE LISTINGS Custom printed window graphics help your listings grab attention with designs that are made to your exact specifications. Century Graphics offers high definition, full color printing for window graphics that can be used on: • properties for sale/lease • retail storefront • identification signage Whether you need window graphics that are adhesive, hanging, or see-through, we’ve got what it takes to help your property get noticed. Call today to learn more about our competitive prices, extensive options, and quick turnaround times. 916.788.8400 | | El Dorado Hills | Roseville | Sacramento 52 | November 2017