Internal Controls Essay
Risks surrounding the identified accounts The Audit of TON Ltd has highlighted number of risks - Internal Controls Essay introduction. The risks highlighted In the audit are discussed throughout the report. Below is a table of the risks and tests to carry out, based on the five accounts highlighted as being of risk. The common assertion that is common to the five accounts is valuation and allocation. Account Assessment of Risk Substantive audit procedure Accounts Receivable Account Receivable has Increased while sales has decreased.
Days In receivables ratio has also Increased considerably. This highlights a high risk of overstatement of the assets. Subsequent assessment of sales receipts, aged receivable trial balance, and follow up on amounts that are overdue. Inquiry with key persons as to how and when overdue balances are classified as bad debts. Current Investments The decrease In current Investments needs Investigating, as well as why It has been Impaired and has the Impairment correctly been done. Review the share certificates, to vary they are held, and how many are held. Review the share prices used in the balance to the ASS listed prices. Property Assets Due to the property market being in decline, why hasn’t the property in the financial reports not also decreased considerably? There could be an overstatement of property assets. Inquiry on why the directors valued the property the way they did and reasoning for It. External valuation by an expert. Intangible Assets No movement in intangible assets is unusual, particularly considering technology does not have an indefinite life.
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Overstatement of assets could be in use. Inquiry on why the directors valued the asset they way they did and reasoning for It. External valuation by an expert. Deferred Developmental Expenditure Even though analytical procedures can only be used, deferred development expenditure requires Investigation, due to the more than significant increase. Added to that the information that a competitor has successfully developed and patented a similar device the future economic benefits from the deferred development expenditure is in question.
Is there / could there be an overstatement? Assessment of accounting procedures used to create the deferred development expenditure balance. Inquiry to directors, and experts about the obsolescence of the company’s laser development. Expert analysis of the technology. After all analytical procedures have been used to evaluate any risks to the financial reports of TON Ltd a number of risks have been highlighted in other accounts. Although It Is highly unlikely for a business to genuinely manipulate expenses to A) is certainly a major concern for TON Ltd.
The operating expenses has also doubled in percentage of total sales (Appendix C). The decrease in inventories whilst also having an increase in accounts receivable is very unusual, mainly due Tao decrease in sales revenue. This highlights that accounts are not being written off to (increase he company’s assets), falsified sales (increase the company’s assets), or even theft of inventory. Business Risk The business risk for TON Ltd has increased from previous years. The primary business risk of concern is the loan agreement placed on the money borrowed to fund research projects.
As the agreement with the bank states, that if the company’s debt to equity ratio increases to over 1. 2:1. 0 the bank is allowed to demand immediate repayment. The analytical procedure has shown that the debt to equity ratio has increased from 1. 02:1. 0, to 1. 11:1. 0 (Appendix B). This is of great concern to he going concern of the business, and points out that the entities is highly leveraged and may be incapable to meet its debt obligations. Other factors concerning going concern are the other profitability ratios (Appendix B).
This risk of going concern can create considerable pressure for the manipulation, falsification or modification of financial records in order to meet the agreement in place. The decline of the property market is also another increased business risk, as one on TON Lad’s major activities is investing in the property market. The decrease in the property market ultimately decreases the value of assets in TON Ltd and such presents the risk of overstatement of the value, or understatement of the impairment of the property.
This influences the current liquidity ratios, and may be the reason for an increased ratio (Appendix B), when there should be a decline as indicators have presented. This is mainly apparent in the director’s valuation of investment properties. (Note 8 of the financial reports). One property has not decreased from the previous year, and one was purchased in the current year. This could be an indication of a fraudulent misstatement. Competitors are another business risk for TON Ltd. One competitor of TON Ltd have developed and patented a device similar to the one in which TON Ltd spent a considerable amount on.
This highlights a risk of obsolescence of inventory for the company and an overstatement of assets as the expenditure hasn’t been written off. The reporting of this expense into other non-current assets account has lead to an increase of 1900 percent in the trend statement (Appendix A), and an increase in the percentage of total assets by almost 13% (Appendix C). As with the property, the treatment of expenditure affects the current liquidity ratio, making impasse liquidity look better than it actually is (Appendix B).
If the amount was written off, due to it not providing any future economic benefit to the company then it would decrease the assets of the business, and increase the tax liability of the company. The factors highlighted above would have placed pressure on the directors of the company. Considering the directors value certain financial report balances, these balances have a risk of being fraudulently misstated. These accounts are Investments (non-current), Property Plant and Equipment, and Intangible Assets (non- current).
As discussed previously, the decline in the property market would indicate a decline to the value of the property held by TON Ltd. However, TON Ltd has not The pressures that might been placed on the directors, may have lead to the directors to not devalue the property. This can also be said for the intangible assets account which contains technologies that’s valued by the directors. These technologies have not been impaired which is not normal, considering technology is regularly improving and therefore obsolete in a shorter period than other intangibles. Plant and Equipment also needs be looked at.
Although there is no indication of misstatement in this account, in fact it has decreased in the trend and common size statements (Appendix A and C) should be looked into. Appendix A Trend Statement 2013 2012 2011 sales 100% Cost of goods sold 68% 85% 100% Gross profit% 109% 100% other Revenue 100% operating 154% 100% Finance costs 150% 128% 100% profit before Tax 103% 100% Tax Expense 103% 100% Net profit 103% 100% 9000 $’000 $’000 cash 139% 100% Trade and other receivables 131% 111% 100% Investments 110% 100% Inventories 110% 107% 100% other% 92% 100% Total current Assets 110% 108% 100% Non Current Assets
Investments 150% 145% 100% Property, plant & equipment 84% 92% 100% Intangibles 200% 200% 100% otherness% 100% 100% Total Non-current Assets 158% 130% 100% Total Assets 140% 122% 100% Current Liabilities Trade and other payable 104% 118% 100% provosts 59% 100% Total current Liabilities 101% 116% 100% Non Current Liabilities sank Loans 188% 125% 100% provosts 116% 114% 100% Total Non-current Liabilities 179% 124% 100% Total Liabilities 144% 120% 100% Net Assets 135% 123% 100% Equity Share capital 100% 100% 100% Reserve 107% 100% 100% Retained Earnings 190% 163% 100% Total Equity% 123% 100% Appendix B
Activity Ratios Receivables Turnover 4. 55 6. 32 Days in Receivables 80 58 Inventory Turnover 2. 19 2. 85 Days in Inventory 166. 53 127. 89 Profitability Ratios Gross profit 0. 32 0. 30 0. 25 Net profit 0. 07 0. 14 0. 13 Return on Total Assets 0. 03 0. 09 0. 11 Return on Shareholders’ Equity 0. 07 0. 19 Solvency Ratios 0. 22 Times Interest Earned 0. 63 1. 76 Liquidity Ratios current Ratio 1. 80 1. 54 1. 66 Quick Asset Ratio 0. 90 0. 79 0. 83 Appendix C Common Size Statement $’000 $’000 $’000 sales Revenue 100% 100% 100% 2. 17 Cost of goods sold 68% 70% 75% Gross profit% 25% other Revenue 7% 7% operating
Finance cost 11% 8% 6% profit Before Tax Tax Expense 6% 5% Net profit $’000 $’000 Current Assets cash 0. 15% 0. 25% 0. 22% Trade and other receivables 11. 15% 10. 79% Investments 3. 36% 5. 91% 6. 56% Inventories 14. 80% 16. 45% 18. 75% other. 22% 0. 31% 0. 41% Total current Assets 29. 68% 33. 70% 37. 81% Investments 33. 59% 37. 26% 31. 25% Property, plant & equipment 14. 33% 17. 99% Intangibles 8. 96% 10. 28% 6. 25% 23. 75% Total Non-current Assets 70. 32% 66. 30% 62. 19% Total Assets 100% 100% 100% Trade and other payable 29. 99% 40. 2% 41. 68% provosts 1. 28% 2. 55% 3. 13% Total current Liabilities 31. 6% 43. 27% 44. 81% sank Loans 63. 80% 50. 91% 49. 04% provosts 4. 93% 5. 82% 6. 15% Total Non-Current Liabilities 68. 74% Total Liabilities 100% 100% 100% Net Assets 56. 73% 55. 19% Share capital 23. 65% 25. 94% 31. 88% Reserve 25. 30% 25. 94% 31. 88% Retained Earnings 51. 05% 48. 11% 36. 24% Total Equity% 100% 100% Question 2 – Internal Controls The client of ACT Ltd has stated they have established improvements to their systems surrounding their internal controls.
From the information that has been provided by the audit manager containing the new internal controls implemented at ACT Ltd, the allowing table contains a list of the four internal controls that are potentially effective, the risk each one could mitigate, and the appropriate tests of each of the identified controls. Strengths Effective Control Risk Addressed Test of Control l. Documentation which allows the follow up of partially filled orders by the dispatch department manager. (Preventative control. ) l. Deals with the custody that happens in the sales process, dealing with shipping/delivery in particular.
The control helps to prevent the overstatement of sales by accounting for partially filled orders and not listing them as complete orders. It also helps to prevent the understatement of inventory by keeping a correct record of what has actually been dispatched. This deals with the occurrence and completeness assertions Examination of the reconciliation of shipments to invoices Monitor the checking of shipments, or inspect selected shipments, including partially filled shipments Inspection of documentation relating to shipments, and partially filled shipments IV.
Computing and updating the customer volume ratings that are used to apply discounts. Provides a segregation of duties by having the ratings calculated by one person, and authorized by another individual. It encourages the right recording of sales, and discounts applied. It allows discounts to be applied, with accordance to the company’s policy. This deals with the accuracy assertion. Select a sample of invoices (with discounts applied to them), and check the evidence that the discount applied can be traced back to the approved list. Check against previous sales totals of the customer VIII.
Reviewing of the trade receivables analysis to detect and highlight any accounts that are past 90 days. Allows the financial manager to follow up with the trade receivables clerk, and receive reasoning for the outstanding balances. Detective control) VIII. Deals with accounts receivable and mainly outstanding accounts. The control is in place to allow the detection of any abnormal balances, and bad debts. It encourages the chasing up of debtors before 90 days, the correct assessment of bad debts expense, It also helps to detect any customers that are of concern in these areas. The assertion here is classification. Assessment of outstanding accounts, and make inquiries with key staff about the outstanding amounts, and the chance of payment. Examine against company, and accounting, policy on bad and doubtful debts. X. Chasing up outstanding receivables. Also makes sure that customers do not go over credit limits by putting a hold on / delaying of shipments until a payment is received from the customer. (Preventative control) ‘X. Deals with accounts receivable, bad debts, and sales/ inventory. The control allows for a plan that’s been in placed to follow up on any outstanding debts, and or detect bad and doubtful debts.
The control is in placed to ensure sales/inventory are not completed and thus shipped to customers who have outstanding accounts that the financial manager is uncomfortable with. It encourages correct credit procedures, chasing up outstanding accounts, and the correct valuation of accounts receivable. An assessment of outstanding accounts, and inquires with key staff about the outstanding amounts, and the chance of payment. Evaluate against company, and accounting, policy on bad and doubtful debts. Review the credit approval process, against customers with outstanding debt.
Check against company policy The above table highlighted the potentially effective controls that ACT Ltd has set in place. However though not all of the controls in placed were effective that the Audit Manager’s extract has identified, five out of the nine controls that ACT Ltd have in place had some weaknesses. The following section of this report will highlight the five sales and receivables internal controls, and the weaknesses inherent in each one. Weaknesses The first weakness to be highlighted is the weakness of control two, this weaknesses completeness and occurrence.
The lack of separation of duties in this control, allows an employee to misappropriate assets. The employee can cover up any misappropriation as they are involved in both the shipping of goods and the good turned whilst without any appropriate supervising or authorizing. Another weakness in this control is that the trade receivables clerk is the one individual in charge of all credit notes. Again, by the lack of segregation of duties, allows the employee to cover up falsified actions by having control of both transactions.
The weaknesses in control three are related to fraudulent activities, as with errors in the financial report, concerning unintentional mistakes. The IT system is fairly new and is looked after by the sales director and not an IT expert. This weakness can raise the risk of errors in the IT system. The prices of stock are gathered from the selling price master file, and as there is no password protection necessary for access to databases, the selling price master files, and every other file are all subject to inappropriate changes.
This allows for any fraudulent activities and as well, honest mistakes dealing with the changing of database files. The most evident weakness in this control is the simple screen check performed by the trade receivables clerk to verify the accuracy of the invoices. A high risk of misstatement can arise, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Some simple controls of passwords, authorization of hangers, authorization and approval of invoices would help to reduce the weaknesses, and thus the risk. Control five has a few weaknesses that allow the risk of fraudulent activities, and segregation of duties.
This control entitles the trade receivables clerk, who also creates invoices, to post them the general Journal. As there is not segregation of duties, this can allow the clerk to cover up any fraudulent activities they may be par taking in. Add to this weakness, not only can fraudulent activities be covered up, but unintentional errors may not be highlighted before the sales invoices are posted to the general ledger. Segregation of these duties, posting to the ledger, and/or receiving approval and authorization of the sales invoices and general ledger, can minimize the risk surrounding the weaknesses of control.
As stated above, segregation of duties is visibly a weakness in the sales and receivables of ACT Ltd. This weakness also exists in control 6. The trade receivables clerk, who computes all the data for the invoices, is also the same person who accepts the receipts from debtors, compute the payments, prepares the bank deposit slip, and reconciles the trade receivables ledger to the debtors control account in this control. This is plainly raising the risk that the clerk could possibly partake and conceal any fraud during their normal course of duties.
Sufficient segregation of duties is very vital to reducing this risk, and therefore reduces the weaknesses highlighted in this control. Control seven’s main weakness deals around the controls in the IT system and the controls around the databases. Control seven includes the computer generating an aged analysis at the end of the month, based upon all invoices completed. However with insufficient controls as highlighted in control three and our, the information in the report is likely to have errors. The fact that anyone can easily access the database means that the invoices computed can be fraudulently created, deleted or modified.
Therefore occurrence and accuracy assertions can plainly be found to be inaccurate. Control seven can only be strengthened if the controls in place, the likely hood of misstatement in this control is only going to carry on. Assessment of Internal Controls As highlighted in the report the new internal controls that are in placed at ACT Ltd have both strengths and weaknesses. As such the reliance on these internal controls fifers in different areas. The strengths outlined above are obviously of less concern then the weaknesses outlined.
The controls recognized as effective require more tests of control rather than substantive testing, as they can be relied upon more than the controls that have been recognized with weaknesses. As for the controls with weaknesses, they are require to have more substantive testing as the controls cannot be relied upon as much. The strengths highlighted surround delivery and shipping (control 1), the accuracy of discounts applied (control 4), aged trade receivables, allow up of aged trade receivables, and the accuracy of bad and doubtful debt expense (controls 8 and 9).
The assertions attributed to these areas can therefore be relied upon more than the other controls. The tests of controls outlined above should be undertaken on these controls identified to ensure that the controls exist and can be relied upon. The controls around these areas can be class as less than high. The weaknesses highlighted concern largely the segregation of duties, and controls around the IT system. These two weaknesses are common across all the weaknesses identified. As such, these controls cannot be relied upon, at least until the management of ACT Ltd correct the weaknesses identified.
Therefore the risk assessment of these areas can be classed as high, and thus require no test of controls, and a greater emphasis on substantive testing. References: Gay, G. E. , & Sentiments, R. (2012). Auditing and assurance services in Australia (5th deed. ). Roseville: McGraw Hill. ACACIA. (2014 or 2013). Auditing and assurance handbook. Brisbane: John Wiley & Sons Australia. Accounts Receivable Account Receivable has increased while sales has decreased. Days in receivables ratio has also increased considerably.
This highlights a high risk Current Investments The decrease in current investments needs investigating, as well as why it has been impaired and has the impairment correctly been done. Reasoning for it. External valuation by an expert. For it. Used, deferred development expenditure requires investigation, due to the more obsolescence of the company’s laser development.