Monday, December 3, 2012

Joanna A. van der Vant - When to Install Control Points in Financial Transactions

Joanna A. van der Vant has devoted her career to business and accounting helping businesses with compliance and with internal controls and procedures. For any business, Joanna A. van der Vant explains, control systems are a necessity to ensure operations flow smoothly.

Loss of assets is a real problem for many businesses, says Joanna A. van der Vant. In fact, says van der Vant, many companies do not have control points in place.  These control points begin with a comprehensive review of operations at each point of each process that could result in loss, explains Joanna A. van der Vant. The points where losses could occur is where control points should be put in place, according to Joanna A. van der Vant.

In many areas of fraud and loss, cross-checks are important. Joanna A. van der Vant points to an example where one worker processes cash or check transactions, and says that another worker from a separate area should verify that the cash and checks on hand match what has been recorded. Regular in-house audits can also help pinpoint problems, Joanna A. van der Vant affirms.

Another control point comes in the area of bank deposits, Joanna A. van der Vant advises. According to Van der Vant, a person other than the one who counted and processed the transactions should carry cash deposits in a locked pouch. This avoids tampering between the time the deposit leaves the building and the time it arrives at the bank, points out Joanna A. van der Vant.

Noting the policy of many banks and other financial institutions, Joanna A. van der Vant also tells employers to encourage, or require, employees to take regular vacations. It is during vacations that problems are often identified. Even during non-vacation times, Joanna A. van der Vant has found that having staff occasionally rotate duties can pinpoint problems that might not have otherwise been discovered, such as discrepancies in accounting procedures.

Since inventory loss can be another major cause of financial misfortune in businesses, Joanna A. van der Vant stresses the importance of maintaining strict inventory procedures at each step of the process. Items should be checked in when they arrive, and they should be identified and audited with a paper trail. Periodic inventory counts and regular audits can help further prevent problems.

Control points will vary from organization to organization, but Joanna A. van der Vant has found that identifying these points of loss can be key to preventing them. By setting up a group to come up with a company’s control points, says van der Vant, management will be on the way to developing a money-saving policy.

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