Blank check stock should be kept in a secure location, with only a limited access. The only people who should have access to the blank check stock is the person responsible for printing the check, and usually the company controller. This allows control over the process to be segregated to a specific portion of the chain of command. This is important because stolen blank check stock can lead to fraud. Signature Stamps
The signature stamps used by most companies are controlled in much the same manner as the blank check stock. Check stock is usually not valid without the signature stamp. Only a limited number of people in the organization should be allowed to have a signature stamp for checks. In most companies, the controller is the primary handler of the signature stamp. Signature Limit Requirements Choate and Choate should consider implementing a limit for single signatures on a check.
Most companies require two approved signatures on any check over a certain amount, usually $5000. 00. This allows for one final approval step for large payments, in order to offset any fraud. This type of recommended control is a requirement which can be setup with the bank, to where the check will not be cashed without the required amount of signatures. Internal Controls Audit Choate and Choate can implement a process to internally monitor the accounts payable process.
Routine random audits of batches and the approval process will help to possibly catch instances of fraud and abuse, as well as providing assurance of procedural performance. Modification of internal controls can be made in a more timely manner, to enhance the performance of all processes. In summary, implementation of all of the recommended internal controls will lead to a more sound overall process. These controls will provide much needed assurance in the accounts payable process by auditors, staff, and customers.