You’ve heard the saying, “Inspect what you expect.” We talk so much about accountability with people, process, and projects but what about with your finances? What kind of eye do you have on your money?
Unfortunately, I have seen a lot of embezzlement, theft, sloppiness, and erosion of money. Without fail, the absolute reason it occurs is because there is no oversight. The executive team or ownerhas never implemented controls over accounting.
So today, I want to tell you three quick examples that are all true. My intention is to better ensure that this is not going to happen to you.
One client I worked with, who had a hands-off management style, had a small boutique professional services firm. Halfway thru our coaching relationship, we focused on shifting him into a more capable manager. He was so far removed and was afraid to ask the person managing the money because he didn’t want them to think he had doubts about their capability.
Another client I worked with had 250+ employees and couple of million dollars in revenue. The Controller was a family member and had the trust of the client. They were sweet and had worked there at the company for a long time. The CFO asked me to coach the Controller, and after the insight gained with the intuitive questions that I asked of the person, the CFO began to believe that something was up. As a result, the CFO had to hire forensic accounting firm. The owner discovered that they were ordering personal items billed to the company account into 6 figures for themselves. Because the company was so large, they thankfully had insurance, so they had to go into civil court and also had to take criminal action.
With a work force that collects checks in the field and that rarely shows up in the office, the construction industry being an example, fictitious employees tend to run rampant. I often encourage the owner to go out and deliver the checks themselves unannounced to avoid fraudulent activities.
Where is your accountability on your controls? These are terrible ordeals to go through for the company.
Another example is of a business was taken for $80,000. They had allowed their bookkeeping to get messy, so they hired the first bookkeeper they could find! The bookkeeper swooped in and took pressure off, and the owner was so grateful for their new-found miracle worker that they did not ask questions. Here is what we learned from this experience:
- You should always ASK for references when you are hiring!! Have a system to follow and do a criminal background check. Do due diligence.
- Have system and controls in hiring and accounting.
- Get others involved in the hiring decision. Internally have checks and balances.
- Reconcile your own checkbook.
- Don’t get friendly with the people that work for you, it becomes harder to be objective.
- Test your hire for the skills you are looking for before you hire.
What kind of accountability issues are you facing with your finances? I can work with you and your team for the accountability issues you face.
Alan Dobzinski is a Master Certified Coach (there are only 624 in the entire world!), America’s Accountability Expert™, Certified Corporate Meeting Facilitator and Executive Business Strategist specializing in working with Family Owned Businesses and Professional Services Firms with a full-time private practice in Baltimore, MD and Delray Beach, FL.
Alan Dobzinski has helped hundreds of clients over his 25 years of experience. Alan works with executives, managers, and business owners who want to increase sales, productivity, and profitability worldwide by creating a culture of Motivational Accountability™.
Mr. Dobzinski writes and speaks regularly on how to increase your business profitability through Motivational Accountability™ and how to S.P.E.E.D. your way to a Better Bottom Line. He is the author of The Buck Starts Here. To get Alan’s free e-mail series: “7 Strategies In 7 Minutes” from Alan’s Motivational Accountability System visit https://www.accountabilityexperts.com.