Your small business checking account is one of the most vital financial tools that keep the business humming along. But some small business owners end up keeping their bank account access either too restricted or too loose for the good of the company. How can you find the right mix? Here are five important tips any small businessperson can put into practice.
1. Use Dual Signatures.
A check that requires two authorized signatures rather than just one is an excellent way to protect the business while still enabling operations. It means that one person cannot fraudulently use the check and that one person in the company can't use funds for unwarranted purposes. This method allows you to delegate spending without compromising safety.
2. Delegate Authority.
Unless your company is very small, you should likely have more than one or two authorized signers. While you may want to keep your finances under strict control, this inhibits others' ability to work in your absence. Not all payments can wait until the only signer returns. This includes things like paychecks due on a deadline, emergency orders or deliveries, and invoices that need to be paid on the spot.
3. Select a Handful of Users.
Who should be an authorized signer? The right answer depends on your particular business. Generally, you should seriously consider authorizing all general partners, your in-house accounting supervisor, a backup manager, your accountant or bookkeeper, and anyone who manages the business during your off-hours. Not all of these people need to be included, but at least some should.
4. Go Over 'House Rules'.
When granting authorization to use the bank account, create some 'house rules' for its use. For instance, provide a dollar limit over which the other person should seek approval. Or assign responsibility for certain types of payments to each person based on their role. Although this doesn't prevent outright fraud, it does help well-meaning staff know how to handle their part.
5. Reassess Authority Regularly.
Make a habit of reassessing check signing authority at least once per year. Ask the bank for the current list of signers and ensure everyone should still be authorized. Consider adding new individuals if your staffing has changed. And think about whether you can safely remove any previously authorized persons to better manage the account.
When you make a careful plan for the appropriate use of your small business checking account, you can delegate authority with confidence. Want to know more about promoting account security and convenience? Start by meeting with a bank account provider in your area today.