Segregation of Duties

To catch errors and prevent fraud, we divide one process (like purchasing something) between different people and departments.  For example, we require that the person who requests a purchase is different from the person who approves it.  You have to have at least two people involved in every purchase (and if it’s a very expensive purchase, you’ll need more than two people).

This is called Segregation of Duties.

The idea behind it is this:  The more people who are required to look at the details of the action we are taking, the more likely we will be to catch a mistake, and the harder it will be for any one person to have control of a situation (and perhaps mis-use his or her power).

We separate the different steps in all our processes, Purchasing, Warehousing, HR, Travel, and others.  The more risk we are taking (for example, the more expensive the purchase, or the more external media attention some action might get) the more people we require be involved in reviewing and approving the proposed action.

Segregation of Duties is one part of an Internal Control System.  You can read more about Internal Controls in our Internal Control Policy.