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After formal policies and procedures are finalized and authorized (i.e., signed by the applicable manager or above), training becomes a vital tool toward implementation.
We recommend that all staff be trained (either directly, or by their management). Every employee signs a timecard. Many employees request money for travel. Business meetings might be called by various departments and employee titles. The vast majority of source documents are not completed by accountants. Accountants benefit from training, to learn how to record transactions. All staff benefits from training, to learn how to document support for transactions.
Training can be at a client site, a hotel conference room near a client site, via the Web, or via conference call. The advantage of a near-site conference room is that employees are physically away from their offices; this makes them more focused on the training and less likely to take frequent “breaks” back to the office. We recommend presentation of at least two, separate seminars of the same material. Some employees attend one session; different employees attend another. Someone always remains available at the office. A four-hour afternoon session, followed by a morning session the next day, is logistically efficient. Our staff training encourages attendee participation.
One-on-one training typically involves accountants and typically focuses on specific challenges. The client employee can ask questions about actual circumstances experienced in their organization. For example, a traveler need not necessarily understand how to allocate lodging taxes between allowable and unallowable. Accountants should understand this concept, how to calculate the excess-portion to unallowable taxes, and how to document that calculation on the source documents (such as Travel Expense forms) that support the recorded transactions.
Training of accountants also covers internal controls, especially segregation of duties. This perspective – or way of thinking – is not just to appease a future DCAA audit, but also to protect employees. If Jane is the only person with bio-metric access to the office, the key to the room with the safe, and the safe combination – should money ever be missing, Jane is the prime suspect. Management put Jane in that position. Good internal controls give the room key to one person and the safe combination to another. Two employees open the safe, together. Internal controls represent a major consideration during a DCAA audit of an Accounting System. Staff training includes management.