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Old names back to haunt

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LawnsRUsInc., Jan 4, 2008.

  1. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 916

    Well I am sure this post could and SHOULD be posted under every thread header.

    Well I read about this not to long ago i believe in Pro Landscape, and i thought i took all proper action. Me and my company had been having some hard times money wise and I had been wondering how could this be we are working hard everyday doing profitable jobs. Well I looked into the checks that had cleared, to my surprise i noticed a check that had cleared with an employees name that i thought was no longer working for us. Well as i started to go through all of them i started to see this employees name coming up many times. So i went threw to find out that this employee hasn't worked for me for a year. Well with researching further into this i found that every week this emp. had been writing a check for average $700. Well It had turned out the names on the check are family names to a current manager that had went threw our office in a locked cabinet. And he had taken ever other check 3107, 3109, 3111 ect... And I do take many security procedures at work surveliance camera's finger print reader time clocks, gps for trucks. So where does it end I recommend any of you guys keep a close eye on some of the security on your own emp. as this could happen to anyone.

  2. grassnazi1

    grassnazi1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    Sorry for your loss man.....Yet another case in point as to why I stay Solo and only do what I can handle on my own. I can't believe how many people all over the world take advantage of this kind of thing and rip off their employers. How sad a day when you not only have to watch out for customers screwing you but also your own employee's.

    CHRIS MELROSE LawnSite Member
    from MIDWEST
    Posts: 170

    Classic case of no matter how big or how small your business is, it is crucial that you examine your statement and match it up with what you know is going out and coming in on a regular basis. If your not checking the activity on your accounts online almost daily then you WILL be a victim of some kind of fraud.
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Yeeowch. That is a bite but you did know something was wrong and eventually found it. Sucks that this happened. What is going to happen now? Do you have recourse to get the money back or is it gone. I am sure criminal charges can be filed but that doesn't always get the money back. I hope you get all your money back, the lesson learned is a hard one to swallow. Good Luck to you.
  5. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    Sorry to hear about that, nice to see the post as a reminder for everyone to keep an eye out for such things. How long has this been going on? I think if you reconcile your accounts on a monthly basis you would have caught it in the first month. No?.
    So, is the 'current manager' still with the company, or did you drag his/ her dead carcass out back and bury it?
    Hope you can resolve this and get your money back. Keep us all informed of your progress, it is a good lesson for all of us.
  6. pyrocare

    pyrocare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    There is one class that I took as an elective for the management degree. It was called Accounting Systems. The class was a dry class, but I left with the skills necessary to help prevent something like this happening.

    The basic control measure in accounting is the A.R.C of control. Authorization, Record keeping, and Custody. A separate person has to do each of the activities. in the case of the checks. A separate person does each of the following authorizes - (payroll, PO, or another document), signs the check, holds the check register, and reconciles the account.

    If the same person would do any 2 or 3 of those activities then the system would be week since a check could be very easily covered up. In example: If the same person did everything there he would be verifying the records the he and only he knows is fraudulent.

    If the system is carried out properly then an embezzlement (that is truly what happened here) would show up at the end of the month, at the latest, when the person that reconciles the account finds that a check that was not authorized has cleared the account.

    The access to blank checks should be highly restricted, such as in a locked cabinet drawer or a safe. This would prevent this particular case, I would imagine.

    I hope that this has helped some one in some way.
  7. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    I keep the checks locked in a safe. It's one of those huge safes and it sits on top of the file cabinet right beside my desk. It's got the electronic keypad, so there is no dial to turn. I had one with the dial and it was a pain the azz. With the keypad, I can open the safe in 2 seconds. It keeps everything handy, but it also keeps everything locked up. I keep everything in there, credit cards, checks, both personal and business, deposit slips, etc.

    I also spend a good 15 to 30 minutes every other day or so, logging into various checking and credit card accounts and checking off transactions and deposits in Quickbooks and Quicken. And once a month I reconcile both checking accounts when the statements come out.
  8. pyrocare

    pyrocare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    In the cases where the owner of the company is also the cheif accountant, record keeper and bill payer the duties can be combined. The seperation of duties is to help prevent the loss of assets, ie embezzlement. The owner of the company is not going to embezzle from himself. If there is ever anyone else other than the owner then the duties need to be seperated.
  9. d&rlawncare

    d&rlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 741

    I might have missed it but, who signed the checks? If he stole them then you need to report it. 26 weeks of $700 checks?
  10. huntemup

    huntemup LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    Man that makes me sick just thinking about it.Sorry it happened.

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