HVACR Business

APR 2017

Help hvacr contractors master the critical components of business management.

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7 HVACR BUSINESS APRIL 2017 www. hvacrbusiness .com usually honest. Something has happened in their life (divorce, sickness, death) and they need money. ey stop thinking rationally and get emotional. en they do things that they never would do when thinking rationally. ey steal from your company. ey don't get caught. en it's easier to steal the second, third or fourth time and the pattern is set. You put procedures in place to keep these usually honest people honest, so it makes it difficult to steal. Many years ago, a client had a bookkeeper who'd been with the company about three years. She was accurate and produced the financial statements on time each month. During her employment, she went through a nasty divorce. Her attorney told her that if she didn't give him $3,000 within a week, he was dropping her case. She didn't have $3,000, so she forged a check thinking, "I get the bank statements and I can simply pull the check out before I balance the checkbook. No one will ever see it." e owner of the company got a call from his banker asking him if he knew Attorney X. e owner said no. e banker said he had a check written to this attorney with a signature that looked odd. e owner raced to the bank to get the check. He confronted the bookkeeper, who denied it at first, then broke down crying and admitted she'd forged the check. His comment to her: "Why didn't you just come to us? You know we loan money to our employees, because you take the repayments out of their checks each week." Because she was thinking emotionally rather than rationally, she spent three years in jail. Preventive Measures ere are two procedures to put in place to help this from happening at your company. First, your bookkeeper should never have check signing authority (unless your bookkeeper is your spouse and owns part of the business). If the bookkeeper in this real life story had check signing authority, it would've been more difficult to prosecute her because, with check signing authority, you've given that bookkeeper the authority to write any check they want to write. In this case, she didn't have check signing authority so it was the and much easier to prosecute. e second procedure is to send your bank statements home. If the owner had received the statement at home, the bookkeeper would've known he'd see the check first and therefore be less likely to forge a check. Sending your bank statements home lets you see all of the check pictures before anyone else. You can make sure the checks are correct and that your signature is on all checks as well as be notified of bounced deposits, late loan payments and other banking issues. Over the next few months I will write about other the issues and the procedures to put in place to keep the honest people honest. u Over the next few months I will write about other theft issues and the procedures to put in place to keep the honest people honest. Ruth King is president of HVAC Channel TV and holds a Class II (unrestricted) contractors license in Georgia. She has more than 25 years of experience helping contractors, distributors and manufacturers grow their companies. Contact her at ruthking@hvacchannel.tv.

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