Only the Owner Signs Checks
By: Robert Curry
Only the Owner Signs Checks – The business owner should be the only check signers of the company’s bank accounts. My client, the owner of a $65 million company, had a Controller who worked for him for 20+ years. Recently, she died of breast cancer. The business owner immediately hired a new Controller to replace her. The owner was a “salesman” type and did not get involved in the financial side of the firm. He told the new Controller that he handled the sales, and she should take care of the “back office stuff!” The owner gave her full authority to sign checks and draw down money from the loan with the bank. He did not do a background check on the new Controller before deciding to hire her.
The business owners should be the only check signers of the bank accounts.
Within four months, the new Controller stole over $4 million from the company. The Controller and her son were in collusion together. Her son set up a shell company and sent his mother invoices. She set up her son’s fake business as a vendor and processed the fraudulent invoice. Then she printed checks, signed them, and mailed them to her son. The company’s line of credit went from $2 million to $6 million outstanding within four months. The owner was not aware of the problem until it was too late. He found out when the bank officer called him to ask him why the loan was at the limit of $6 million. He had no idea why.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The owner pressed charges against the Controller and sued her, but never recovered the money. The company could not recover from the loss and went out of business.
My name is Robert Curry, and I am an Author, CEO Coach, Keynote Speaker, and Turnaround Specialist. Over the past 20 years, I have worked with more than 70 companies taking their businesses from Loses to Profits.
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Recently, I published two books about turnarounds: “From Red to Black – A Business Turnaround” and “The Turnaround.” Both books are true stories about turnarounds of real companies that I have turned around during my career. In both books, I have shared all my Profit Improvement Recommendations (“PIR’s”). PIR’s helped to grow sales, reduce expenses, improve cash flow, and most importantly, strengthen the management teams.
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