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Looking for a set of internal control policies and procedures

sample internal control policies and procedures

I'm mentoring a start-up company that needs to establish sound controls. I'd like to tailor a set of controls around what other companies have found useful. Specifically looking for controls for segregation of duties; review and approval authorizations; safeguarding and accountability of assets; preventing or detecting error or fraud. 

Hoping to cut and paste your document.  This is a great not for profit venture so anything you can share would be helpful.

Answers

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

Irv - I don't have a set to give you, but if they starting up using Quickbooks or another accounting program for small business, check out the value of Bill.com.

You can register for a webinar demo. One of the benefits is segregation of duties for a small organization. Bill.com assists the AP and AR transactions, and keeps the bookkeeper away from the actual bank account.

If you have not seen it yet, Bill.com is an amazing advance for small business internal control and is being used widely by non profits as well to create internal control. It also allows for an outside CFO user.

http://www.bill.com/resources/events-and-webinars

CPA firms love this product and the AICPA recommends it. It uses the Bank of America payment architecture so has banking level cloud security. Completely eliminates the need for check stock, speeds cash flow, and creates internal control mechanisms for small entities.

Sorry I sound like a commercial.

Ken Bires
Title: Owner
Company: B2 Partners LLC
(Owner, B2 Partners LLC) |

Irv - I saw this the demo of Bill.com and came away very impressed of its breadth and capabilities... Have not been able to dive into the details, as yet, but do intend to... Check it out...

Ted Monohon
Title: VP -Finance / Controller
Company: Fantex
(VP -Finance / Controller, Fantex) |

Copedia has a product with some basic internal control and process and procedure documents that can be edited. They document the most basic sets of segregation of duties, safeguarding and accountability. It isn't free, but very reasonably priced for what you get.

Irv Williamson
Title: Owner
Company: Growth Guidance Solutions
LinkedIn Profile
(Owner, Growth Guidance Solutions) |

Valerie and Ken,

I've heard good things about bill.com. I will definitely check it out. Thanks for the referral.

Irv

Irv Williamson
Title: Owner
Company: Growth Guidance Solutions
LinkedIn Profile
(Owner, Growth Guidance Solutions) |

Ted,

I found Copedia when I first googled for this project. It appears they have exactly what the company needs but they are on a boot strap budget and would like to find something they can adopt for free.

Have you used the Copedia products?

Irv

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

Irv, can you please post the Copedia link that you found useful? It might help many many.

Ted Monohon
Title: VP -Finance / Controller
Company: Fantex
(VP -Finance / Controller, Fantex) |

Irv -

Yes, I have used it. It works as a good basic structure. You need to understand internal controls and modify it to fit your structure - it isn't a tool for people who don't understand how controls are supposed to work (it isn't equivalent to what QB does for accounting).

I don't think what you want is available for free unless you special tailor a mryiad of various .EDU policies that are public on the web - but this is time consuming and not always on point. I believe there are some free pieces that Copedia gives away, but it isn't everything you need unfortunately.

The organization's auditors might also have a free resource available.

Irv Williamson
Title: Owner
Company: Growth Guidance Solutions
LinkedIn Profile
(Owner, Growth Guidance Solutions) |

Valerie,

Here's the Copedia link

http://www.copedia.biz/Accounting_Policies_Procedures_Manual_s/1.htm

Irv Williamson
Title: Owner
Company: Growth Guidance Solutions
LinkedIn Profile
(Owner, Growth Guidance Solutions) |

How does bill.com handle payment authorizations?

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

Thanks for the link to Copedia.

In Bill.com you will set up an authorization matrix/segregation of duties. If you are the virtual CFO, you set the client up as transaction initiator and as transaction approver. Your role will be to watch the transactions arrive and review the Zen coding and handle the integration between Bill.com and the accounting system.

Basically once the vendors are drawn up from the accounting system into Bill.com, you will tell the vendors will send their invoices to bill.com via special email account or 3-5 other methods - Zen will handle the data entry or document staging, then the information will be all sent to the accounting system. Payments will be sent from the accounting system to Bill.com and bill.com will print checks branded with your client's information and mail them, or make ACH payments. No payments are made until the Client approves.

If you have a backlog of stuff to data enter, just scan and send to that vendor email address and it will be loaded.

Its a good idea to register for the webinar demo. Then get on the phone with a sales rep for Bill.com and ask them to show you how it works.

It seems like it should be harder, but its not.

Irv Williamson
Title: Owner
Company: Growth Guidance Solutions
LinkedIn Profile
(Owner, Growth Guidance Solutions) |

Valerie,

Bill.com has many nice features. I'd like to put this to use in my clients that have a bit larger budget. Unfortunately, my start-up has 4 users which would costs $49 per month or $588 per year. We'll need to build a cost free control control process until they start cash flowing.

Irv

Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Irv
I'd like to add a different dimension about controls, one that focuses on the organizational culture and values. The phrase "Tone at the top" encapsulates it nicely:
1. how does leadership set the example and display values that are conducive to sound practices?
2. how does the organization educate people who may need it, to understand checks and balances, in the context of the organization's mission? Some folk may not understand its importance, but if they can relate to a breakdown in controls that leads to the not for profit failing to meet its mission, that may help them get the picture.
Regards
Len

Irv Williamson
Title: Owner
Company: Growth Guidance Solutions
LinkedIn Profile
(Owner, Growth Guidance Solutions) |

Len,

This is a startup. There are four partners. The mission is to start a self sustaining business in Uganda that will help solve certain human waste issues. At this stage they are interested in establishing a set of controls that will be in place as they grow over the next few months. Founders are PhDs in various sciences but not accounts.

I'm looking for a simple set of procedures that could be easily adopted to their situation. Help is needed in establishing controls for initially for grant spending, contract execution, purchasing capital equipment, and hiring a few employees. This will be an international organization with both US and foreign transitions.

Any templates or sample policies you might have access to would be appreciate.

Irv

chris anderson
Title: president
Company: Bizmanualz, Inc.
(president, Bizmanualz, Inc.) |

You can find a number of free sample policies and procedures at http://www.bizmanualz.com just go to the "Download Free Samples" and you will find them for a number of areas including accounting, finance, HR, IT, and more. These Word templates can help get you started.

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