Reporting and Operations

Writing Checks

Size of Organization: 

Having the appropriate number of people involved in processing transactions, the less likely it is that a problem will occur. For small organizations with limited staffing, this issue is particularly troublesome. In some cases, the best answer lies in having members of the board of directors serve as check signers. This option is usually most viable if there are several board members living close to the organization’s office.

At a minimum an organization should have at least two people involved in this process. The process can be broken into several parts with only two people involved.

   • The mail is opened by an administrator. This can be the receptionist, office manager or other individual with similar responsibilities.
   • The invoice is checked for accuracy by the administrator.
      o Does it add?
      o Does it match the packing information if the items were delivered?
      o Does the price match the contract?
   • The invoice should be coded by type of account and department/program/grant by the person who ordered the service and/or has responsibility for the budget being charged.
      o For example, an invoice for supplies for a conference should have a notation to that effect on the invoice.
   • The person who authorized the purchase or service should approve the invoice in writing, preferably on the invoice.
   • The check stock should be kept in a secure location such as a locked cabinet or safe.
   • The check should be written by the administrator.
      o If a computerized system is used, the check writing should be automated.
      o If a manual check is written, an entry should be made into the accounting system (general ledger).
   • The unsigned check and the supporting documentation are given to the check signer (manager/Board member).
      o The signer should be someone other than the person writing the checks.
   • The checks should then be mailed.
   • A copy of the check is attached to the invoice and filed by the administrator.
      o As an alternative, the check number can be written on the invoice.
          In this case, the invoice should be marked as paid.