Internal Control Research Paper

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This case study is indeed correct in asserting that properly run inventories truly are essential to the functioning of any organization. Inventory discrepancies need to be eliminated aggressively in order for an organization to move forward. Furthermore, this case study was astute to assert that such discrepancies could be avoided by examining past mistakes and working hard to fix them. Furthermore, the cases study was also wise to point out that many inventory mistakes could be avoided by holding more employees responsible for such mistakes. Greater employee accountability is absolutely vital in establishing an environment of trust and efficiency. However, there are other tools in place that can be used to make sure that inventory mistakes don't occur. One such tool is something known as cycle counting. This process is able to balance the accuracy of all inventory records by determining the number of counting material via the year (Kelchner, 2013). "Companies determine the frequency of material counts according to the cost of the material and the regularity of its use. They may decide to schedule a certain part or other item for frequent cycle counting when counts are often inaccurate. A cycle counting program compares the physical count of an item against the inventory records. Cycle counters investigate the cause of inaccuracies, identifying issues in the inventory management system" (Kelchner, 2013). Such processes insure a higher level of overall success in the management of tasks and in the way that inventory is checked and double checked. Investigation is crucial when discrepancies are found. Limiting staff access to the inventory can work and placing limits on the amount of staff corrections which can be made (Ross, 2004). Another effective tactic is tracking large ticket items in transactions through managers only (Ross, 2004). Other thorough investigations into discrepancies can demonstrate weak spots.

Case Study Two: Internal Controls

This case study was correct to cite the work of Gelinas, Dull and Wheeler in their assertion that a company's method of internal control is set so that reasonable assurance can be achieved in regards to the safe operations of all processes and the compliance with necessary laws and regulations. Internal controls truly are essential for the safe operations and overall efficiency of any organization along with evaluating the overall efficiency of such an entity. "A lack of internal controls can cause significant damage to your business. In small businesses, for example, it is not uncommon to have one key employee who conducts financial transactions, makes bank deposits and balances the books. If you don't have safeguards in place to check on his activities, you may be exposing yourself to deceptive activities on the part of even your most trusted workers" (Joseph, 2013). This truly demonstrates how an absence of internal controls can truly cause a substantial amount of damage and unraveling to a given organization. Without internal controls, an organization can quickly become compromised. This case study also needs to address how a business can improve their strength and precision (and with it, their likely overall profitability by improving their internal controls). Engaging in other basic maneuvers can also help to assist the overall accuracy of internal controls. For instance, assigning responsibility to certain individuals for the act of complying with particular regulations, such as safety officers or fire wardens is vital (CPA, 2008). Creating strong physical controls to thwart accidents is also incredibly necessary, along with processing customer complaints, reservations and issues in a fair and timely fashion (CPA, 2008). Engaging in staff feedback processes and procedures in a well-documented manner is also necessary as is the engagement of audits that occur at regular schedules (CPA, 2008).

Case Study Three: ERP systems

One of the most illuminating aspects of this case study is how aptly it reviewed the history of ERP and the critical success factors which connect directly to the ERP. This helped to offer up a clear picture of how the ERP is both nuanced and vital to an organization: it also demonstrated how the ERP can be strongly influenced by certain critical success factors. These factors provided a better understanding of how the ERP works. This understanding truly is essential, as proper ERP functioning is vital to the world of business. In fact, the arena of business and technology is tainted by horror stories of ERP projects which have gone awry (Kimberling, 2006). In fact, certain well-known companies such as Hershey's have widely publicized lawsuits against ERP software vendors, because of their botched implementations (Kimberling, 2006). Certain critical success factors involve actions like concentrating on business methods and requirements foremost and in generating a healthy return on investment such as in the post-implementation performance measurement (Leon, 2008). For example, "too often, companies get tied up in the technical capabilities or platforms that particular software supports. None of this really matters. What really matters is how you want your business operations to run and what your key business requirements are. Once you have this defined, you can engage in a more effective ERP software selection process" (Kimberling, 2006). Furthermore, taking ample time to engage in proper planning is necessary in order for successful ERP involvement. If an ERP vendor's priority is to close the deal, your priority is to ensure that all aspects of the deal are perfect and nuanced, and that there is a clear understanding of all aspects of the business plan (Kimberling 2006).

Case Study Four: Delphi Method

This case study was an in-depth review of the Delphi method; in particular, it looked at the work of Worrell Wasko and Johnston in the article "Exploring the use of the Delphi Method…" One of the strong parts of case study on this article is that it zeroes in on advantages of the Delphi method. For instance, the benefits of the Delphi method revolve around connecting research to action in business. However, this case review doesn't delve strongly enough into the Delphi technique and the benefits that it offers; nor does it look clearly enough at the disadvantages of the technique. "More participants can be involved than a face-to-face method allows. The time and cost of participants travelling to meetings is saved, while still enabling their participation. The anonymity of participants is preserved. This can avoid self-censorship, and give participants the flexibility to modify their views as they learn from others, without the social pressure that exists in face-to-face meetings The remote process also avoids negative group influences such as dominating members and political lobbying" (Roberts, 2013). This technique also fosters a structured and nuanced way for collectives of people to form decisions in a political or emotional environment about intricate problems of issues (Roberts, 2013). However, this method is not perfect and one should acknowledge the disadvantages in a more head-on fashion. For instance, it's more time-consuming to coordinate and that this coordination is so involved means that it can be difficult for all parties involved (Frangos, 2009). Moreover, there's generally a lower level of transparency than in person-to-person meetings which can be more easily impacted by coordinators, leading to less trust in the overall method and results (Frangos, 2009).

Case Study Five: Forensic Accounting

This case study focuses on the Bressler article on forensic accounting and was able to zero in on some of the more vital points about the article. For instance, this case study brought up one of the most crucial parts regarding forensic accounting, which is the ability to comprehend the interlocked elements of fraud as Bressler states: incentive, opportunity, rationalization, and individual's capacity. While this case study did focus on some of the key aspects of Bressler's work, they completely left our more pressing stuff like the CSI effect. "Financial and other fraud cases involve accounting information. Forensic investigators utilize financial information and will need to understand, interpret, discern what is important/not so important, retrieve, identify, safeguard, report, and testify in court financial information retrieved in a fraud investigation (Kahan, 2005; Manning, 2005, Wells, 2005). A fairly new phenomenon in the research deals with the CSI Effect on jurors as well. Researchers discussed the importance of auditors and forensic accountants receiving training on fraudulent methods but also indicate the importance of fraud investigators knowing Accounting Information Systems (AIS) (Bodnar and Hopwood, 2010)" (Bressler).One of the aspects that the Bressler article could focus on more fully is the fact that so much of the best forensic accounting training occurs in accounting school with students. Many of the students being educated in forensic accounting need to be taught the best skills and methods in connection with forensic accounting. For instance, training students in risk assessment (at least in a mock scenario) can provide them with a variety of skills for the real world: "Given the information and boundaries provided by the instructor, students should be able to conduct a general IT control review and evaluate the effectiveness of general and application controls for mitigating such risks" (WVU, 2007). Thus, such tasks could aptly offer business a new generation of highly skilled accountants.…[continue]

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