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Five reasons to look at EVERY check

A pen writing a signature on a check

If you run a small business, you should view every check your company receives. Every single one. Here are 5 great reasons:

  1. you verify that your bank statement is accurate. If you are taking it on faith that your bank is being accurate with your deposits, that may be a big leap. Banks make mistakes, and some even play games with their customers’ accounts.

  2. you can find ridiculous invoices. If a customer is writing you a check for $3.20 that’s wasting your and their money. The time they spend processing and remitting payment, and the time you spend invoicing and processing their payment dwarfs that amount. Find out how your office ended up invoicing such a small amount and figure out a way to simplify it.

  3. you can keep tabs on your finance team. Business owners who find they have had key, trusted people embezzling from them feel punched in the stomach when they realize it has been happening for months or even years at a time. Most, if not all of them thought it would never happen to them.

  4. sometimes a client will write a comment on an invoice when remitting payment. Maybe it’s a complaint, or a comment, or they are questioning a line item. This is useful input, but often received (or not even noticed) until far too late. Anything other than a prompt and complete payment indicates problems with the relationship.

  5. see that very small check? That’s from a good, loyal customer. It may not be a big part of your overall deposit, but it matters to them. Reviewing a check from a smaller revenue client helps recall that they, too, deserve your attention and effort. Don’t take them for granted. Seeing their check is a great way to remind yourself that they are being generous by choosing (and paying!) your company. Send one of them a hand-written thank you note.

Checks provide oxygen to your company’s body. But they’re also a reminder of a relationship which is fundamentally a privilege. It’s a privilege for you to provide a service to people and for them to select, trust and ultimately pay you. The day you start taking that for granted or expect it as an entitlement is the day your business begins to perish.

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