Have You Seen the Statement?
A fellow lawyer recently told me about an organization that was swindled out of over $100,000 by the treasurer of the board simply because the treasurer was the only one with access to the bank account. No one on the board had ever thought to ask to see an actual bank statement or other proof of the numbers reported at the board meeting. As a result, the offending treasurer was able to take from the organization with limited risk of exposure.
This is one of those incredibly easy problems to avoid that many people do not think about simply because we trust our fellow board members are in it for the right reasons. By requesting a copy of the bank statement on a regular basis, the board can ensure the numbers match up with the treasurer’s statement and provide just enough oversight to prevent blatant stealing. It’s an easy step for all organizations to take, not just non-profit boards. So, when was the last time you saw an actual bank statement for your company or organization? It’s time to take another look.