Top Twenty Ways Bookkeepers Embezzle from Plumbing Companies – Part 2
#11 – Your Bookkeeper – Tries to explain away delinquency tax notices by asking you to wait a few minutes while they “Look it up in QuickBooks”. Suddenly, as if by magic a check appears in QuickBooks for the amount and date of the tax notice or they suggest it’s a government error.
#12 – Your Bookkeeper – Insists on picking up the daily mail to save you time or steps or whatever lame excuse. This is one of the best ways to run interference with suppliers, vendors and tax overdue notices.
#13 – Your Bookkeeper – Is the primary contact for your company’s banks, auditors, creditors, etc. Danger, danger, danger! Many times I have
been called in to straighten up a plumbing contractor’s accounting nightmare and have been met at the door by the bookkeeper who says the owner changed their mind and decided our services were not required after all. One particular occasion a plumbing contractor had an account with the local tire store and discovered the bookkeeper had treated themselves to a brand new set of the best tires and rims the plumbing contractor’s money could buy.
#14 – Your Bookkeeper – Misplaces payroll receipts, deposit records, supplier letters and estimates. Not too difficult to write extra payrolls checks to a fake name and deposit the funds into the bank or go to a check cashing store.
#15 – Your Bookkeeper – Makes the bank deposits and they seem to be too small. Do I really need to go into more depth here? I think not.
#16 – Your Bookkeeper – Show signs of a drinking, drug, or gambling problem or family financial problems.
#17 – Your Bookkeeper – Suggested they could save money by getting rid of the outside accounting firm. The truth is we are asking too many uncomfortable questions and suggesting perhaps it is time to get a Board of Advisors as a way of bringing a lot of light and a lot of heat to the plumbing company in order to help the owners generate more net revenues.
#18 – Your Bookkeeper – Gets angry when you ask for a QuickBooks report. When your bookkeeper uses angry, intimidation or gets upset just know you are probably just an audience member of a drama being played out in order to distract from the real issues.
#19 – Your Bookkeeper – Tries to blame the previous Bookkeeper or outside accounting firm for messy QuickBooks or anyone else including previous Presidents, Congress, the plumbers or anyone else but themselves.
#20 – Your Bookkeeper – Does not get along well with other employees and staff members. An embezzler likes to stay private and in the shadows so that nobody notices them or asks begins to ask too many questions.
#21 – Paying bills with Cashier’s Checks – When you look it up on the internet it will only show as a withdrawal.
There Are More Warning Signs – To be aware of and action steps you can take. One of them is outsource your bookkeeping to a qualified construction accounting firm and make certain they never, ever have access to any of your plumbing company funds or bank accounts. They do not need it. We have lots of construction clients including plumbing contractors and we are able to:
- Enter timecards and prepare payroll then the owner or a trusted officer approves it, enters their PIN Number for direct deposit or prints checks in your office and passes them out.
- We can prepare the monthly and quarterly tax returns then the owner or a trusted officer approves payment, enters their PIN Number for direct deposit or prints checks in your office and mails it.
- We can maintain a list of bills and when they are due then the owner or a trusted officer approves payment, enters their PIN Number for direct deposit or prints checks in your office and mails it.
- We maintain a list of invoices that are owed to your plumbing company and if you want us to we can email, mail, fax or FedEx the invoices to your customer with instructions to pay your plumbing company direct.
- We do a whole lot more; however, the purpose of this article is to share some ways bookkeepers embezzle from plumbing contractors and offer you some ways to avoid it by outsourcing your plumbing contractors bookkeeping.
I leave you with this heartfelt blessing “May you ever find new and innovative ways to add value to your customers and clients and become so wealthy so that you are compelled to use your wealth to help others in need and yet always have more than enough for you and your loved ones”.
Randal L. DeHart, PMP, QPA