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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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3–35. Have Regularly Scheduled Check-Signing Meetings

If company management insists on signing all checks, as opposed to the use of signature stamps, then the accounts payable staff must either track down these people and loom threateningly over them while they sign the checks, or else meekly leave piles of checks on their desks and hope to receive the completed checks back within not too many weeks. Either approach is unacceptable, since the first puts the accounting staff in the uncomfortable position of forcing managers to interrupt their workdays in order to sign checks, while the latter approach interferes with the timely distribution of checks to suppliers and employees.

A good way to resolve this difficulty is to arrange for regularly scheduled check-signing meetings, preferably immediately after scheduled check runs. By doing so, managers will have already blocked out time for this work and will feel less compelled to drop other work to complete their signing duties. Also, it means that the accountant delivering the checks can sit and amicably discuss issues with the check signer, such as queries about the reason for some payments, while also presenting issues on behalf of the accounting department. Because of the increased level of communication available under this approach, it is not unusual for an assistant controller to deliver the checks, rather than an accounting clerk.

Cost: Installation time:

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