Written by: Chris Bennett, Management Team, Bennett Office Technologies
How does your company operate? Do your ethics trend from the top down or bottom up? What is the determining factor when making a decision in a gray area?
As I reflect on decisions I make as a parent, leader and volunteer, ethics are always at the top of my list. It is important to me that my decisions are founded on an ethical base that can be used in all areas of decision making in my life. My ethical code is based on 3 of the most important things to me in making ethical decisions, 1. God 2. Legal 3. Family. If any decision causes risk in those areas the answer is no, it is that simple.
This past month we did an audit of our prepaid contracts. Customers make upfront payments and receive a discount for prepaying. Certainly common place in the business world for service companies like Bennett Office Technologies. What is different in our industry is that technical people generally do not communicate well with their accounting departments. Either accounts payable expenses the prepaid contract or expects the technical person to track the balance. We rarely get questions pertaining to our prepaid contracts. However, we must be prepared and constantly monitor billing times and invoicing pertaining to these contracts. During my audit, I found for whatever reason, a balance existed on some of these contracts. At this point, some companies would slip in expiration dates or dissolve the contract.
I decided to ask the question of what to do with these funds to my management team, and I intentionally gave a justification for why we should be keeping this credit. Every time the answer came back that we should either apply the credit to other invoices or write a check. I can’t tell you how proud I was of our people and the company. It was a true test of our company ethics and we chose what was right and fair.
Bennett Office Technologies has always been, and will always be an ethical company. Every person in the company will consider you as person and your business with the goal of doing what is right and fair. Our industry moves very fast and inherently comes with complexity. We will not use that complexity to take advantage of our customers, period.