Your Business, Your Money, Your Books – Protect Them

"David Balwin

David Balwin
CPA | Accountant | Business Advisor

Well, my three recent blogs on choosing a bookkeeper was very timely.  As reported by the Courier Mail yesterday (15 January 2013) a bookkeeper employed by Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club stole $250,000 from the club to feed her gambling addiction.

The Bookkeeper commenced siphoning money in March 2010 and her stealing wasn’t detected for two years until March 2012 when the club’s CEO stumbled upon a number of anomalies.

It was revealed that the bookkeeper mainly stole from cash floats at the racing club, which she topped up with money from a club bank account.  The bookkeeper then fudged account records to hide her fraud and falsified documents to present to the club committee at its monthly meetings.

In court, the bookkeeper indicated that she would return to a career in Graphic Design when released from goal.

There are a number of issues coming out of this situation.  Without knowing in detail the person’s qualifications and experience, it would appear they were not a professional bookkeeper of long standing having come from a different career background.  Further, although it is difficult to ascertain an addiction in the recruitment process, it does highlight the importance of rigorous referee reports and processes.

Finally, it also highlights the importance of separating the handling of money and bank accounts from the person doing the books.  Good professional bookkeepers will suggest they not have access to bank accounts in order to protect their integrity and the integrity of their work.  Where it is necessary for them to have access, it is necessary that you, the business owner with your bookkeeper, put in place transparent processes to ensure there is limited opportunity for stealing and fraud.

Remember, it is your business, your money and your books – protect them.

Contact Balanix Solutions for your free 1 hour consultation in relation to your bookkeeping needs – we can help.