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

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3–44. Use Signature Stamp

One of the most common delay points in the accounts payable process is when an accounting clerk must go in search of someone to sign checks. If there is only one person who is so authorized, and who is not always available, it can keep any checks from being issued at all. The situation grows worse when multiple signatures are required for larger checks. On top of these delays, it is also common for the check-signers to require back-up documents for each check being signed, which requires a considerable extra effort by the accounting staff, not only to clip the correct documents to each check, but also to unclip the documents after the checks are signed and file them away in the appropriate files (which also increases the risk that the documents will be filed in the wrong place). This is an exceptional waste of time, since it does not add a whit of value to the process.

The solution to the multitude of inefficiencies related to check-signing is to get rid of the check-signers completely. Instead of assuming that there must be a complete review of all checks prior to signing, one must get management used to the idea of installing approvals earlier in the process, thus eliminating approval at the point of signing. Once management is comfortable with this idea, it is a simple matter of complying with bank regulations, which require a signature on each “check”—this ...

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