checks and balances

  

Definitions (2)

1.Corporate: Internal control mechanism that guards against fraud and errors due to omission. In a system with checks and balances, the authority to make a decision, and the associated responsibility to verify its proper execution, is distributed among different departments. These department are kept logically and physically apart, and no one department can complete a transaction all on its own. For example, the purchasing department orders goods, the stores-department receives and compares them with the respective purchase orders, the quality assurance department inspects and verifies their quality, the accounts department verifies the invoice amount, and only then the comptroller authorizes the payment for the purchase. This process emphasizes interdependence without interference, and creates a data trail or paper trail for auditing.
2.Governmental: Extension of the separation of powers doctrine, under which each branch of a government can (if necessary) counter the actions or decisions of the other branches. This arrangement ensures transparency, and prevents domination of the government by any branch.

Use checks and balances in a sentence

  • Checks and balances were introduced to the U.S. government to ensure that no one branch had too much power and to emphasize interdependence among the different branches.

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