Auditing a Storage Facility

StorPlace Self Storage of GreenwoodAs a manager taking over a new store or an owner of a single facility or multiple facilities, one of the most important task you can do is an audit of that facility. If we lived in a perfect world where people were always completely honest or never made mistakes, this may not be necessary however we don’t so this is something that must be done on a regular basis. I know the word “audit” is not a word anyone wants to hear however it does not need to be looked at as a negative thing.

This is a time for Managers, District Managers and Owners to learn how to perform the job better. You never know what you will find but you may just find that a Manager has found newer and better ways to perform duties on a facility that is so great that you will want to implement across the entire company. This is how we grow to become the best in the industry! So let’s get started.

Number one is the person responsible for the audit MUST know the ins and outs of the business and must be very familiar with the computer software the facility is using. First check for any discrepancies in cash. This can be issues with the cash drawer or petty cash (if the facility uses it). You are looking for anything that doesn’t quite “add up” if you do find anything speak to you manager and find out why. Also make sure that all bank deposits match the software that the payments were posted to.

At this point check for receipts from the bank and make sure that all monies are accounted for. Next move onto the customers’ accounts. Look for any excessive discounting and/or crediting of the rent. This should be a red flag if you see anything along these lines. Most of the time it will be as simple as a payment that was not posted correct either because of human error or a computer error. Communicate these finds with you manager to find out the reason for the discounting and/or crediting and make sure that they are noting the account in the future so you do not have to ask those questions.

After you have gone through all the cash and customers’ accounts, it is time to move the audit outside to the facility grounds. Outside you are going to want to check for cleanliness and look for any repairs that need to be taken care of that the manager may be overlooking. When you walk the same facility day after day you tend to overlook some items that need to be fixed and sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes to notice some problems on the property. Again communicate these findings with the property manager and follow up a couple of weeks later to make sure the problems are resolved. Next as you walk through the property cross check the occupied and vacant units again a list of tenants from the software the property uses. There is usually a report that you can print that is designed just for this purpose. Again look for any units that say “vacant” but have a lock on them and for any that say “rented” that are unlocked and empty.

No one really likes performing an audit however in the end, it is in your best interest to make sure that all of your facilities are running at their top potential!

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