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Summary of Internal Control Definition

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2 Summary of Internal Control Definition
A process, effected by the entity’s board of directors, management, and other personnel, designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding, achievement of (the entity’s) objectives on: Effectiveness and efficiency of operations Reliability of financial reporting Compliance with applicable laws and regulations 2 2

3 Control Objectives In each area of internal control (financial reporting, operations and compliance) Control objectives and Subobjectives exist Example: Area of financial reporting Top level objective – prepare and issue reliable financial information Detailed level applied to A/R subobjectives All goods shipped are accurately billed in the proper period Invoices are accurately recorded for all authorized shipments and only for such shipments Authorized and only authorized sales returns and allowances are accurately recorded The continued completeness and accuracy of A/R is ensured Accounts receivable records are safeguarded

4 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
Passed in 1977 in response to American corporation practice of paying bribes and kickbacks to officials in foreign countries to obtain business The Act Requires an effective system of internal control Makes illegal payment of bribes to foreign officials

5 Controls over Financial Reporting
Preventive Aimed at avoiding the occurrence of misstatements in the financial statements Example: Segregation of duties Detective Designed to discover misstatements after they have occurred Example: Monthly bank reconciliations Corrective Needed to remedy the situation uncovered by detective controls Example: Backups of master file Controls overlap Complementary – function together Redundant – address same assertion or control objective Compensating – reduces risk existing weakness will result in misstatement

6 Components of Internal Control
The Control Environment Risk Assessment The Accounting Information and Communication System Control Activities Monitoring 3 3

7 Control Environment Factors
Integrity and ethical values Commitment to competence Board of directors or audit committee Management philosophy and operating style Organizational structure Human resource policies and practices Assignment of authority and responsibility 4 4

8 Risk Assessment--Factors Indicative of Increased Financial Reporting Risk
Changes in the regulatory or operating environment Changes in personnel Implementation of a new or modified information system Rapid growth of the organization Changes in technology affecting production processes or information systems Introduction of new lines of business, products, or processes 5 5

9 Control Activities Performance reviews Information processing
General control activities Application control activities Physical controls Segregation of duties Segregate authorization, recording and custody of assets 6 7

10 Segregation of Duties

11 Objectives of an Accounting System
Identify and record valid transactions Describe on a timely basis the transactions in sufficient detail to permit proper classification of transactions Measure the value of transactions appropriately Determine the time period in which the transactions occurred to permit recording in the proper period Present properly the transactions and related disclosures in the financial statements 6

12 Monitoring Ongoing monitoring activities Separate evaluations
Regularly performed supervisory and management activities Example: Continuous monitoring of customer complaints Separate evaluations Performed on nonroutine basis Example: Periodic audits by internal audit 8

13 Limitations of Internal Control
Errors may arise from misunderstandings of instructions, mistakes of judgment, fatigue, etc. Controls that depend on the segregation of duties may be circumvented by collusion Management may override the structure Compliance may deteriorate over time 7 9

14 Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)
COSO issued a new internal control framework in 2004 on enterprise risk management. It does not replace the original COSO internal control framework. It goes beyond internal control to focus on how organizations can effectively manage risks and opportunities. The auditing standards are still structured around the original COSO internal control framework.

15 Financial Statement Audits: The Role of Internal Control
Second Field Work Standard The auditor must obtain a sufficient understanding of the entity and its environment, including its internal control, to assess the risk of material misstatement of the financial statements whether due to error or fraud, and to design the nature, timing, and extent of further audit procedures. [emphasis added]

16 Auditors’ Overall Approach with Internal Control
Overall approach of an audit 1. Plan the audit 2. Obtain an understanding of the client and its environment, including internal control 3. Assess the risks of material misstatement and design further audit procedures 4. Perform further audit procedures 5. Complete the audit 6. Form an opinion and issue the audit report Steps 2-4 relate most directly to the role of internal control in financial statement audits

17 2. Obtain an understanding of the client and its environment, including internal control
The understanding of internal control is used to help the auditor to Identify types of potential misstatements Consider factors that affect the risks of material misstatement. Design tests of controls (when applicable) and substantive procedures. Auditors must consider all five internal control components Control environment Accounting information system Risk assessment Control activities Monitoring Also consider areas difficult to control like nonroutine transactions

18 Obtaining the Understanding
Procedures include Inquiring of entity personnel Observing the application of specific controls Inspecting documents and reports Tracing transactions through the information system relevant to financial reporting May also obtain evidence on operating effectiveness of various controls

19 Documenting the Understanding of Internal Control
Questionnaires Typically standardized by firm Written Narratives Memos that describe flow of transactions Flowcharts Systems flowcharts Walk-through Trace one or two transaction through cycle 11


21 3. Assess the risks of material misstatement
General approach Identify risks while obtaining an understanding of the client and its environment, including its internal control Relate the identified risks to what can go wrong at the relevant assertion level Consider whether the risks are of a magnitude that could result in a material misstatement Consider the likelihood that the risks could result in a material misstatement

22 The nature of transactions
Consider the nature of the transactions Routine transactions—e.g., revenue, purchases, and cash receipts and disbursements Nonroutine transactions—e.g., taking of inventory, calculating depreciation expense Estimation transactions—e.g., determining the allowance for doubtful accounts Generally routine transactions have the strongest controls

23 Assessing Risks at the Financial Statement Level
Examples Preparing the period-end financial statements, including the development of significant accounting estimate and preparation of the notes The selection and application of significant accounting policies IT general controls The control environment Responses to high risks Assigning more experience staff or those with specialized skills Providing more supervision and emphasizing the need to maintain professional skepticism Incorporating additional elements of unpredictability in the selection of further audit procedures to be performed Increasing the overall scope of audit procedures, including the nature, timing or extent

24 Assessing Risks at the Assertion Level
Examples Failure to recognize an impairment loss on a long-lived asset affects only the valuation assertion Inaccurate counting of inventory at year-end affect the valuation of inventory and the accuracy of cost of goods sold Responses Decisions are made here as to the appropriate combination of tests of controls and substantive procedures

25 4. Design and Perform audit procedures – test of controls (1 of 2)
Approach: Identify controls likely to prevent or detect material misstatements Perform tests of controls to determine whether they are operating effectively Tests of controls address: How controls were applied The consistency with which controls were applied By whom or by what means (e.g., electronically) the controls were applied

26 4. Perform further audit proce-dures—tests of controls (2 of 2)
Tests of controls include: Inquiries of appropriate client personnel Inspection of documents and reports Observation of the application of controls Reperformance of the controls The results of the tests of controls are used to determine the nature, timing and extent of substantive procedures

27 Diagram of the Auditors’ Consideration of Internal Control

28 Other Considerations Audit decision aids
Checklist, standard form or computer program that helps auditors make a decision by ensuring that they have all relevant information or by assisting them in combining the information. Use of the work of internal auditors Must assess internal audit competence and objectivity and test work Can rely on work of internal audit to reduce amount of testing done by independent auditors

29 Relationships Among Deficiencies
Deficiency in Internal Control Less than Significant Material Significant Deficiency Weakness

30 Management’s Report on Internal Control under Section 404a
Acknowledgment of responsibility for internal control An assessment of internal control effectiveness as of the last day of the company’s fiscal yearn using suitable criteria Support the evaluation with sufficient evidence

31 Approach to Audit of Internal Control under Section 404b
Plan the engagement Use a top-down approach to identify the controls to test Test and evaluate design effectiveness of internal control Test and evaluate operating effectiveness of internal control Form an opinion on effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting

32 Internal Control in the Small Company
Due to lack of employees, internal control is seldom strong in small businesses Specific practices for small businesses Record all cash receipts immediately Deposit all cash receipts intact daily Make all payments by serially numbered checks, with exception of petty cash disbursements Reconcile bank accounts monthly and retain copies Use serially numbered invoices, Pos, and receiving reports Issue checks to vendors only in payment of approved invoices that have been matched with purchase orders and receiving reports Balance subsidiary ledger with control accounts Prepare comparative financial statements monthly to disclose significant variations in any category of revenue or expense

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