Things I Learned on Maternity Leave

July 28, 2015 § Leave a comment


I’m a new mother of two children. My son was born just 11 days after the tax-filing deadline (yes, we somewhat planned accordingly). My husband and I and his big sister of almost two years welcomed him with open arms. I was blessed to have my husband home the first week, but then, my hardest job ever started – staying at home with two children. 1+1 does not necessarily equal 2 when it comes to these little blessings. I learned several things in my weeks at home and wanted to share some.

  1. keep-calm-enjoy-maternity-leave-2Be organized.– Pack the following: twice as many diapers as you think you need, extra outfits, snacks, favorite stuffed animals, spill-proof water cups, books, pacifier, and a mammoth-dose of patience.… I learned also that stuffed animals somehow multiply in the backseat without you knowing it.
  2. Even if you are organized (see #1), it may still take you three hours to exit the house to visit friends on the other side of town. Your good friends will extend grace for the tardy arrival.
  3. It’s okay to let the dishes and laundry pile up if you’re donning a cape to run around and be a superhero with your toddler or taking a nap because both children are napping.
  4. It’s okay to miss your job because that means the people you work with, the clients you help, and the work you do confirm you’re in the right profession and place.
  5. Even a toddler’s TV show can apply to adults. When you’re feeling frustrated, take a step back and ask for help. Ask for and accept help. There’s no reason to do it all on your own.

My time home with my children was a blessed, exhaustive adventure, and I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. It helped me understand how to show unconditional love and care. The time we have on this earth with our loved ones is so short; I encourage you to take a moment and look at the world through the eyes of a two-year-old. Stand in awe of nature and creation. Watch the ants on the sidewalk. Put bubbles in the bath. And splash in the puddles outside during a warm rain shower.

Trisha Gross, CPA
Trisha Gross




Manager – McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, P.C.

Protecting Your Business from Fraud through the Use of Positive Pay

July 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

Fraud can be perpetrated in many different ways.  We hear about it on the news when a major company loses a large amount of private data or when someone embezzles a large sum from their employer over a period of time.  But what are you doing on a daily basis to prevent fraud from happening in your company?

A common way that employees are able to perpetrate fraud is through the check writing process. A check may be altered after it has been signed, or a check may be written to an unauthorized vendor allowing it to be diverted to a personal bank account.   Depending on the size of your company, it may be difficult to put controls in place to stop these types of fraud.  Many banks offer an automated fraud detection tool to help.

Positive Pay is a tool in which the bank matches information on the check to information provided by the company to verify the payment has been authorized.  Each time checks are issued, the company provides the check run information to the bank including check number, account number, issue date, dollar amount, and, in some cases, payee.  As the bank receives checks for payments, the check information is compared to the previously provided list, and if any information does not agree, the check is listed as an exception.  The exceptions are sent to the company for approval of the payment or to stop payment.  This detects and prevents the fraud from happening in an automated and efficient manner.

Most banks charge for this service, and there would likely be an additional fee if you chose to add the payee to the list of items to be verified.  However, you should consider these costs that would be offset:

  • The time it would take for an owner or CFO to review cancelled checks or check images returned with the bank statement. This is an especially beneficial service for companies with a large volume of disbursements or busy management that doesn’t have time to manually review the checks clearing with the bank statements on a monthly basis to review for improper or unauthorized disbursements.
  • The cost of a potential loss resulting from check fraud.

I would encourage you to discuss Positive Pay and other fraud prevention and detection tools with your banker to help protect your business from losses due to fraud.

Kristin Clayton, CPA
Kristin George




Manager – McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, P.C.

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