Treasurer's Report

Catherine Tondreau

 

Michigan State Association of Letter Carriers

This month, I am going to talk a bit about audits being conducted by your membership or the Department of Labor (DOL).

 

Dave Dorsey, partner at the accounting firm Withum, Smith and Brown, has told us some things to look for including:

 

 

He also spoke on internal financial controls. Union officials must ensure the union’s funds and other assets are used solely for the benefit of the union and its membership.

 

You should know that the Department of Labor can con-duct an audit of your branch at any time, they can audit because of a complaint by one of your members or what they call a compliance audit - which is usually random. The Department of Labor will usually contact the Treasurer of the branch and/or the President because they are the ones who sign the LM reports. Don’t hang up on them thinking it’s a joke.

 

Some things that you should know when they are con-ducting an audit:

 

Don’t make it harder for auditors to get the information they are asking for; get it in a timely manner.

 

Comply with what they ask for. If you have an officer that is also a State officer and/or does work for the National, you may need to get information from the State Association or headquarters of the officer to be sent to the Department of Labor.

 

Often, it is just a review of your books to make sure things are being put in the LM report properly and you are not missing items from your report.

 

The DOL states the most investigated crimes are fraud and embezzlement.

 

The NALC has not had as much trouble with embezzlements as some other unions or companies, but we always need to be diligent.

 

Studies have shown that about 10% of the U.S. population is completely honest, 10% is totally dishonest while the remaining 80% are at a level of honesty that varies with each circumstance or situation they find themselves in.

 

This suggests that many of us would take cash from our employer or other impersonal source if we knew we wouldn’t get caught. The average embezzler believes that the company can afford to lose the cash and that they will not be caught. The embezzler must be in a position of trust, yet employers are shocked when this trust is betrayed.

 

Embezzlers are normally the hardest working, the most trusted and well-liked employees, therefore, they are the least likely to be suspected. Usually, embezzlers do not seek their jobs with the intent on embezzling. Often times, the embezzler can rationalize the crime. Once they take the money and don’t get caught, they normally don’t stop until they are caught. Embezzlers look and act just like other employees and most companies think they don’t have to worry because their employees are honest and trustworthy.

 

With that said, don’t forget it is getting near the end of the year and it’s time to start getting your books in order to complete your LM reports and your 990s.

 

Hopefully this information has been of use to you.

 

-- Catherine Tondreau

Treasurer

December 2023