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discussion forum 42

Carol Nickell is the manager of Aspen Gardens and has been with the company for several years. Therefore, she is valued and trusted. Carol is in charge of recording collections on account, making the daily bank deposits, and reconciling the bank statement. As the sole manager and with responsibilities described above, she has not taken a vacation since she began working.

Earlier this year, clients began complaining to you, the president, about incorrect statements. As president, you checked into the matter. Carol assured you there was nothing to worry about in this situation. She asserted that the problem was due to slow mail, which made customers’ payments and statements cross in the mail. However, because clients were not complaining last year, you doubted that the mail was the primary reason for the problem. What might be some of the reasons for the delay? What are some other problems that might begin to occur? What will you do to remedy the problem? What should be done to make sure such problems are avoided in the future?

Answer these questions on one paragraph with at least one source APA.

Then, respond to two of your classmates’ postings in any of the following ways:

  • Build on something your classmate said
  • Explain why and how you see things differently
  • Ask a probing or clarifying question
  • Share an insight from having read your classmate’s posting
  • Offer and support an opinion
  • Expand on your classmate’s posting

The respond should be one short paragraph from 8 to 10 sentence.

Post #1:

Since Carol is a trusted employee I would like to give her the benefit of the doubt, but a consistent slow mail issue seems unlikely. As the sole manager of collections and statements Carol may be falling behind on her duties due to any number of reasons including too much workload for one person, lack of efficient technology or maybe even personal reasons.

Potential problems with not recording customers’ payments in a timely manner could result in major customer service issues. If Carol is struggling to record the payments as soon as they’re received, customers may be getting cheated out of cash discounts and maybe even incurring inaccurate late fees. If statements are getting sent out late it can cause the same issues by not allowing the customers enough time to turn around a get a payment in. I am in charge of accounts payable at my family’s small business and I can attest to the fact that inaccurate statements are a huge annoyance and correcting the issue with the supplier is often a hassle.

To remedy this problem and make sure it doesn’t occur in the future I would make several changes. Since Carol has been with us for several years and is trusted I would go easy on her and try to help her get things running smoothly again. I would move to electronic billing and receiving as much as possible. This makes it easier to accurately prove when customers get statements and make payments. I would also require Carol to take two weeks vacation every year. This should help her avoid a potential burn out as well as lower the company’s risk for fraud. “Some regulatory bodies recommend that employees take two consecutive weeks of vacation and that workers’ tasks be handed over to peers” (Amato, 2017, Requiring vacation reduces instances of fraud section, para. 1). If there is no one else in the office that can handle Carol’s duties while she’s away I would either do it myself or hire her an assistant that could help her day to day and take over while she’s away.

Reference

Amato, N. (2017 June, 1). The business reasons to take a vacation. Journal of Accountancy.

Retrieved from https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/issues/2017/j…

Post #2:

As president of Aspen Gardens I would first ask Carol to walk me through her timing and process. For example, does she start her Mondays by going though accounts to find delinquents for the week and gather a list for the remaining month, or if she completes this monthly, what day does she complete the process and then send notices out. Next, asking Carol when she takes the daily mail and deposits out. Last the bank statement, I would ask her when she completes the bank reconciliation and if it is done within a week of the statement coming from the bank.

By first asking Carol her process for better understanding, she may be more open to the idea of taking a vacation or if possible, shortening her work days to give her more personal time. After 7 years of employment, Carol, I would hope is a salaried position and the decrease in hours would not be detrimental.

Carol is insisting that it is the mail that is causing the delay, yet if customers are complaining about incorrect statements, the first step would be to confirm how they are incorrect. Is it missing applied payments, invoice balances, or incorrect invoices on accounts? If the balances are all correct, it would be best to then look into the bank statements for confirming all payments are making it to the bank. If not, Carol is throwing payments away, or embezzling and there are going to be more issues in the long run. If the mail is really to blame, the customers would see the payments on later statements of their accounts and would not be having the issue of incorrect statements as the processing is just delayed and they would be able to see the delay by dates and payment removal from their own bank accounts.

The best way to correct the problems that have arisen for customers in the past year is to learn the process that Carol completes each day/week/month and learn the how and why. It is never a good idea to only have one person know how to complete important business processes. By learning from Carol, you are able to show her your appreciation for what she does for your business and bolster her sense of importance and duty. Once you have learned the processes, you will better be able to understand where the problems are coming from and be better equipped to find a way to correct them. By also learning the process from Carol, you can push for her to take a vacation without her worrying about mistakes being made or having the system she has in place get out of order and a bigger mess when she returns.

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