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Trust but verify

Sep 18, 2020
By: Claire M. Jarchow
Trust but verify

The dreaded cough …

It’s not a good time to be someone who suffers from allergies, as is the case with my son. He was sent home from daycare a few weeks ago due to his cough and complaint of a sore throat. I was certain it was allergies, though I understand that given the times we are living in, we can’t just take that at face value.

But how realistic is it for me to keep him home until his cough goes away? That could last for weeks if it’s allergy related! We decided to get him tested for COVID-19 right away to rule this out as a possibility in the hopes we could send him back.

Thankfully, the test came back negative, which we communicated to daycare right away. They were very pleased to hear that and talked about plans to have him return — but, of course, not before receiving a copy of the negative test results. 

Just like our daycare provider trusted our verbal confirmation of the negative results but still needed to verify this with a copy of the actual results, your institution must also have processes in place to trust but verify.

To ensure employees are completing their daily responsibilities and that adequate control exists for the many functions of your institution, methods of “trust but verify” are a must. Examples include quarterly surprise cash counts, independent review of account reconciliations, file maintenance review and comparison of approved invoices with a system report of expense checks issued. If these verification processes are not in place, even the most well-meaning employee can let items slip through the cracks, causing errors that may go unnoticed if not addressed through independent verification and review.

Whether you are lacking “trust but verify” methods in your institution or are wondering if your current verification methods are sufficient and functioning as intended, reach out to your Wipfli representative to determine how we can help to ensure you are on the right track. 

Related articles:

Trust but verify: Internal controls keep you alert to fraud

Vendor risk management: Protecting your data

Preventing scams in financial institutions

Smaller fund managers are easier cybersecurity targets


Claire M. Jarchow, CPA, CIA
Senior Manager, Internal Audit
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