Tom couldn’t believe it! He had heard stories of this happening to other people but never thought it could happen at his company, Johnson Construction. He had trusted his bookkeeper, Sharon, unconditionally. She was one of the hardest workers he knew and she had become a family friend.
Over the years, Tom had gradually given Sharon more and more responsibility and freedom with Johnson Construction’s finances. Then, not long ago, the company needed some additional accounting help and turned to On Track Business Management because of its construction accounting expertise. To Tom’s dismay, On Track quickly discovered that Johnson Construction’s accounting numbers did not add up. Over the years, Sharon had embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In hindsight, Tom recognized the red flags. Sharon would never take a vacation, never wanted help, and didn’t want others looking over her shoulder. Although her motives were clear now, at the time Tom had just thought Sharon had a terrific work ethic and was protective of her job duties.
Now Tom was overwhelmed. He knew that the construction industry had a high rate of embezzlement, but he was a smart, savvy owner of a successful company. How could this have happened to him? Why didn’t he see the signs? How could Johnson Construction go forward under these circumstances?
Fortunately, Tom now had the assistance of On Track Business Management. To set Johnson Construction on a new path to profitability, the On Track team set up accounting software specifically designed for construction bookkeeping. The new program generated easy-to-understand reports that let Tom know exactly where his money was going and where Johnson Construction stood at any given time.
Tom especially liked On Track’s team approach to accounting: one team member would prepare the accounts payable and another team member would reconcile the bank statements, so there were two sets of eyes on the finances. This added layer of accuracy and security allowed Tom to sleep better at night.
Through the guidance of On Track, Tom also set up better internal controls within his own company. He posted company policies and held regular staff meetings to review company procedures and expectations.
“I never would want to go through this experience again,” says Tom. “However, with On Track’s help, we’ve come through this crisis as a stronger, better-managed company.”
*The company name and minor details have been changed to protect client confidentiality.