It’s No Holiday When Employees’ Responsibilities are Limited to One Individual
By Phil Villegas
I’ve noticed certain reoccurring patterns in many of the dealerships I’ve had the opportunity to visit. There always seems to be that one particular, heavily relied upon individual who tackles certain tasks. No one else would even dare to complete the tasks and responsibilities of this individual if they went on vacation. Instead, they would opt to let the work sit and wait for the employee to return. While under many occasions this can be completely innocent with no ill will, more often than not, there can be major risks associated with this. Many of the cases of embezzlements I’ve encountered have often been linked to job responsibilities that are specific to one employee. The dealer’s losses become compounded and can extend for longer periods of time because no one checked or picked up the tasks of this individual.
We discovered an instance of this during one of our internal audits. A parts manager had taken parts for personal use without paying and he was relieved after this was brought to light. A few weeks later, a vendor dropped off cash for the dealership’s previous month scrapped parts. The parts counterperson who received the cash took it to the accounting office, but accounting had never received a payment for scrapped parts before. After they inquired with the vendor it was discovered these cash payments for scrap parts had been in place for years. Because the parts manager was the only individual disposing of scrapped parts, he had been able to cover his tracks for as long as he did.
As Jerry Seinfeld once pointed out during one of his stand-up comedy performances, “We are all here to be replaced…sooner or later, we will all be replaced.” That being said, there is no job, or responsibility, within a dealership that should be completely limited or isolated to one individual, regardless of how sensitive or tedious it might be.