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handInterviewing Checklist for Owner--Financial Aspects

provided by Alan R. Graham
Senior Investigative Auditor
U.S. Treasury Department
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms

1. What type of business was involved in the fire?

2. How long have you been in business?

3. Who did you buy the business from and what were the terms of the sale? (Assume property is owned--fi leased, obtain data on terms of the lease).

4. What was the form of business ownership--sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation?

5. Do you use any other location for storage other thanthe business site?

6. Do you own any other businesses? (obtain details)

7. What was your investment in the business and have you made any additional deposits to support the business operation?

8. What types of products/services do you provide?

9. Has your product mix of sales changed recently? For example, from top of the line products to less expensive quality.

10. Have you made any recent repairs or renovations on this property?

11. Were such repairs/renovations made by an outside contractor? (If so, obtain details of the contract.)

12. Are you planning to rebuild?

13. Was the business for sale? (If so, obtain details.)

14. If you were to sell the business, what would be the estimated selling price?

15. Do you have an outside accountant? (Obtain name, address, telephone number, etc.)

16. What services does the accountant provide?

17. Have you filed Federal and State Income Tax Returns for the past five years?

a. Personal

b. Business

18. Who prepared these returns and do you or your outside accountant have copies?

19. Did your accountant prepare financial statements? If so, for what years and are copies available?

20. What was the financial condition of the business at the time of the fire?

21. Was the financial condition of the business improving at the time of the fire?

22. What was the average monthly:

a. Sales

b. Expenses

c. Net Income

23. Were there seasonal fluctuations in your business?

24. Were you paying all your bills in a timely manner?

25. Did any suppliers place you on C.O.D.?

26. Did you maintain an adequate supply of inventory items on hand to support your sales?

27. What was the total value of your inventory at the time of the fire?

28. How did the total value of your inventory at the tim of the fire compare to prior inventory values?

29. Did you have any obsolete inventory items? Describe each item and provide its value.

30. Provide a complete list of all your primary suppliers?

31. Have any judgments, liens, or lawsuits been filed against you or your business?

32. Have you ever filed or are you in the process of filing for bankruptcy?

33. Did you draw any type of a salary from the business?

34. Did you have any other sources of income? (Obtain details)

35. Is your spouse employed? (If yes, obtain particulars as to salary, employer, etc.)

36. Do you have a business checking account(s)? (Obtain bank, account number, activity, etc.)

37. Do you have any other accounts? Certificates of deposit etc.?

38. Are all business deposits and disbursements made to these accounts?

39. Do you ever commingle any of your personal funds with the business accounts?

40. Have you ever loaned any of your personal funds to your business? (If so, provide amounts and dates).

41. Do you ahve any outstanding loans, mortgages, etc.? (Obtain complete loan data as to amounts, terms, banks, etc.)

42. Have any lending institutions ever rejected your loan application or loan extensions?

43. Have any of your loans ever been in default?

44. Do you have any automobile or other loans not previously mentioned? For example, automobile, home improvement, etc.?

45. Do you have any business or personal credit cards? (Obtain type of card, account number, and outstanding balance.)

46. Have your suppliers been paid in a timely manner?

47. How does the total amount that you currently owe to suppliers compare to this same time period last year?

48. Identify utilities utilized by your business. (i.e. gas, electric, oil, etc.)

49. Have you been paying all other obligations in a timely manner?

50. Do any of your customers owe you a significant amount of money? If so, identify each and determine reason for non-payment.

51. Have there been any business situations that we have not discussed that would possibly have an adverse effect on your business?

52. Is there anything you would like to add this interview?

reprinted by permission

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