Hunzinger Accounting & Financial Solutions

You can’t drive without internal controls

A good business will likely grow and with that comes more employees and less control over every aspect of your business. Setting up a well thought out system of internal controls can help to mitigate that. If processes are in place and consistently followed you’ll be better able to ensure that things are running as you would like them to run. Here are some examples:

Pricing: Make sure you have a relatively consistent pricing system. Yes, you can still offer discounts to valued customers/clients, but overall there should be consistency in what you charge for services and products. If you’re a service provider, a standard hourly rate for various types and levels of services is common. For product pricing, use a standard cost multiplier. For instance, if a cog costs you $10, mark it up to $20 or $25 for sale in your retail store. For a manufacturing company, this is a little bit more complex since there are labor costs to incorporate, but the same principle should be applied.

Contract approvals: Make sure everyone knows what they can and cannot contractually sign. For example if you receive orders of goods from a supplier, perhaps any worker can accept up to $500 of goods, but anything over that amount requires manager approval. If negotiating a contract, assign a dollar limit to what employees can commit to without your approval.

Invoice approvals: Assign an approver for each invoice. Each approver should be able to review the invoice, note what the invoice was for, and approve for payment if everything is in order. Assign dollar limits to invoices and make sure the people ordering the items are the ones providing approval. If this is for goods received, you should be able to match the invoice with a packing or order slip.

Check signers: Assign limits to the dollar amounts for which an individual can sign. For instance, all checks under $500 can be signed by one person and anything for more than that requires two signatures.

These may seem simple and obvious but the absence of these processes and control mechanisms is surprisingly common. Taking a bit of time to implement these internal controls will give your business the tools that it needs to grow while still making sure you’re in the driver’s seat.

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