Internal Controls Are Key – But They Have To Be Challenged To Be Effective

Hannaford Brothers Co. was a good place to work, as I said elsewhere on this blog. They had a strong commitment to good internal controls from the very top to the bottom of the ladder. But they also had a professional and effective internal audit function. STILL, fraud was occurring all the time. Sure, there were cashiers and bookkeepers stealing small amounts of money, and night clerks stealing beer. But it occurred at all levels. After I left, as described in another blog post, the VP of government relations was prosecuted for stealing over $600,000. I caught store managers, pharmacy managers and others. Someone has to guard the chicken coop and it can’t be the fox. One day, completely out of the blue, the company announced that a senior director with 20 years with the company was leaving immediately for “other opportunities.” I did find out the underlying story but you’ll have to buy me some beers to hear it.

About 10 years after I left the firm, the long-serving Vice President of Accounting for Hannaford, Bruce D. Kay, CPA, became the CFO of Enerasys in New Hampshire. Who knows what he was thinking, but he was one of several executives convicted and served 10 years in federal prison for his role in cooking the books there.

As Bruce was at one time the Secretary for the Maine Board of Accountancy, many current CPAs in Maine have their CPA certificate signed by him. You can never let your guard down.

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One Comment to “Internal Controls Are Key – But They Have To Be Challenged To Be Effective”

  1. RJ Vinson says:

    Oh My gosh.

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This entry was posted on April 9, 2018 and is filed under Fraud and Embezzlement, Retail Operations. Written by: . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.