Preventing Discrepancies in Your Account

A customer recently asked me why he had so many exception items, and what he could do to mitigate the problem. To be clear, exception items or reconciling items are discrepancies found by during the performance of the monthly “3- Way Reconciliation,” wherein book balances, bank balances and ledgers are all compared. This process involves a line-by-line verification of every receipt,...
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Got Uncashed Checks?

It’s one of those tasks that happen once a year, and like audits, nobody likes to talk about it: escheating of unclaimed funds to the State of California. Every year, we watch thousands upon thousands of dollars being sent to the State for uncashed, outstanding checks. I see refund checks in excess of $2,000.00 being remitted and I have to ask, where are these people? Don’t they WANT...
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Fraud: It Can Happen to You

There really isn’t much to say about the recent rash of fraudulent check activity. I used to believe that with diligence and watchful eyes, most fraud could be prevented. Locking up your checks at night and limiting access to banking materials was advised to keep criminals from stealing and forging your checks. Now, issued checks are altered and blank checks are duplicated. These...
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Don’t Cancel That Check!

From time to time, we see a trend in trust accounting problems. Lately, it’s been the cancellation of trust account checks that were not outstanding. In other words, checks that had been either previously paid or already canceled. Often, the cancellation results in the re-issuing of the check and subsequent overdraft when it’s discovered that the previous check had been paid. What is...
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Your Next Audit: Are You Prepared?

Chances are, you are overdue for an examination by the regulatory body governing your escrow company. Audits are rarely performed when expected. If it’s been close to two years since your last visit from a state auditor, here are some steps you can take now to be prepared and to save yourself some time and money! Review a sampling of your files, both open and closed. Are they orderly with...
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