1. TERMS OF REFERENCE
There are several terms of references behind conducting such study as follows:
- The rationale behind the preparation of present report is to shed light on the need of internal control aspect and accounting system. Moreover, there are several loopholes which prevail in the accounting practices of A to Z Hire company. In this, report will present the manner through which undesirable aspects can be removed from the accounting practices of A to Z Hire Company. Hence, it is one of the main reasons behind initiating such study which in turn helps in overcome the weaknesses if firm to the significant level.
- Further, in the business organization it is the responsibility of higher management team to make proper balance in the stakeholder’s interest. Thus, the main motive of conducting such study is to analyze the extent to which accounting rules and regulations are followed by A to Z or not. Thus, such report will highlight the importance of internal control system and thereby depicts the manner in which it assists in making suitable decisions.
- In addition to this, managers of the firm are not in position to take suitable monetary decisions when they do not have idea about cost and associated benefits. Thus, reason associated with conducting such study is to analyze the cost that is related to practices of A to Z in terms of money, staff time and other resources.
2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
2.1 Current report is prepared on internal control and accounting systems. Under this relevant firm different scenarios are discussed in detail. In case of current company varied fraudulent activities takes place. It can be said that employee show negligence behaviour at the workplace and due to this reason such kind of fraud takes place.
2.2 It can be observed that fraud was done in the bank reconciliation statement and other accounting records. This face was concealed from the top managers. Hence, misunderstanding created and top managers make entire decisions by fully relying on the income statement, balance sheet and other accounting records. It can be observed that due to this reason firm make extravagance and there was not sufficient cash amount in the account. It can be said that due to this reason further cash amount decline in the business and firm entangled in the problem. This is the one of the big issue that was faced by the firm in its business.
2.3 It is very important to solve this issue on time so that performance of the firm can be improved to great extent. Based on analysis of case some recommendations are made in the report. As part of recommendation it is clearly stated that firm must appoint only relevant candidate as chartered accountant at the workplace. By doing so it can be ensured that in proper manner accounting is done at the workplace.
2.4 Apart from this, there is need to improve internal control system at the workplace. This is very important because if there will be strong internal control system then in that case no one will be able to do fraud related activities on time. Hence, it can be said that there is significant importance of internal control system for the managers.
3.1 For conducting study in an effectual way, appropriate selection of tools and techniques are required. Moreover, in research effectiveness of outcome is highly affected from the tools that are undertaken for such purpose. Hence, methodology clearly entails the techniques which researcher undertakes during the whole investigation. Thus, it acts as pathway which in turn provides direction to the researcher in whole study.
3.2 Further, methodology selection is based on the type of issue which is going to be investigated. In the present study, to evaluate the accounting and internal control system of A to Z following methodology has been undertaken by the researcher:
3.3 Data collection: With the motive to make evaluation of accounting and internal control aspect of A to Z secondary data sources have been used. Hence, to meet the research objective significantly several books, journals and other scholarly articles related to the accounting system have been used for extracting suitable information. Thus, books and articles which are related to accounting and internal control system or practices have been evaluated for the preparation of brief thesis. Moreover, without having understanding about topic or accounting aspects one cannot analyze the data set regarding A to Z in the best possible way. Thus, by using such secondary data sources in-depth investigation of case study has been done. For the fulfilment of research aim secondary data about the following aspects have been gathered such as:
- For getting in-depth understanding about the functioning and practices of accounts department of A to Z analysis of case study has been made. Thus, for giving high suitable suggestions for improvement purpose an analysis of books and journals have been made.
- Besides this, for making assessment of accounting rules and recording aspect of A to Z analysts must have understanding regarding the same. Thus, scholarly articles related to accounting rules also have been evaluated for determining suitable solution from data set.
- Along with this, for developing better insight about the ethics and sustainability aspects associated with accounting aspect books and journals have been evaluated. This in turn helps in giving highly suitable recommendations to A to Z for the purpose of improvement.
- Further, articles related to internal control system also have been evaluated for understanding about the same.
Hence, through the means of internet surfing data regarding accounting practices and internal control system has been collected. Moreover, internet has huge collection of books, journals and scholarly articles which in turn helps in evaluating data set in the best possible manner.
4.1 In the business organization, internal management and control is highly required for assessing as well as removing deficiency level within the suitable time. Hence, by maintaining proper accounting records and making evaluation of the same with actual aspect firm can assess the fraudulent activities.
4.2 On the basis of such aspect, by making evaluation of business practices on a periodical basis business unit can assess the areas that require improvements. A to Z Vehicle Hire is the leading small sized organization that offers regional car and van hire services to the individuals. Such firm includes three different firms such as AA Milnes Car hire (Northfield), Vans to go (Southdown) and Midway minibuses. Cited case study clearly presents that Vans to Go was established in the year of 2010 by Mo Khan. Mission statement of A to Z Vehicle hire firm includes providing customers with wide range of vehicle hire services. Hence, mission of the firm is to become the foremost and leading hire firm in the region.
4.3 Thus, A to Z enables individuals to fulfil their needs by offering hiring services related to van, cars, lorries and minibuses. Company lays high level of emphasis on ensuring the aspect that vehicles are well maintained and properly serviced. Hence, A to Z offers hiring services to the customers according to their requirements.
4.4 Besides this, such business organization ensures to the customer that services will be delivered on time at suitable place.
4.5 In addition to this, for the maximization of customer satisfaction and loyalty such hiring company has employed polite and courteous staff. All these aspects clearly show that mission, objectives and strategies undertaken by A to Z are sound as well as in line with the strategic business environment.
5. ACCOUNTS DEPARTMENT
5.1 In A to Z accounts department is assigned with the responsibility to manage all the financial records in an appropriate manner. Besides this, individuals also have responsibility to present highly accurate view of financial position and performance. In addition to this, accounting personnel also have accountability to prepare bank reconciliation statement on time. This in turn helps in meeting the need of financial institution to a great extent.
5.2 Accounts Department Staff
Accounts department of A to Z including following people:
Chandra Sorah, MAAT
Head accounts clerk
Wages and accounts clerk
General office assistant
5.3 Weaknesses: By making evaluation of case study, it has been assessed that staff of accounts department is less efficient. Due to this, they fail to prepare appropriate BRS and financial statements on time.
5.4 Recommendations: In order to overcome the above identified weakness it is highly required for A to Z to conduct training session for the personnel accounts department. Besides this, firm also should make focus on appointing highly experienced personnel who have ability to present suitable view of financial aspects on time.
6. REVIEW OF THE ACCOUNTING SYSTEM
6.1 Assessment of weaknesses
Weaknesses: There are many weaknesses of A to Z Vehicle Hire company which are creating trouble for the organization. That is why cited firm is unable to accomplish its objective. Cited firm records financial transactions effectively that supports the entity in reducing the complexity related to cash. But A to Z Vehicle Hire company is still having many drawbacks that impacts on the organization to great extent:
6.1.1 Poor accounting software
A to Z Vehicle Hire is working with old software that is why cited firm is unable to prepare the records in effective manner. Due to poor accounting software organization is unable to accomplish its objectives. That is creating trouble for the entity and it increases monitory complexity in the business units. Due to this, mistakes are increasing in the firm that creates problem in funds management in the workplace. There are many competitors of A to Z Vehicle Hire company those which are using advanced software in the organization so that they can manage their records in effective manner and can prepare the accounting report significantly. It helps them in analyzing the financial performance of the firm to great extent. But as A to Z Vehicle Hire is not using such advanced software and working with poor ac counting software thus, records are not recorded in effective manner that creates problems in analyzing the overall economic performance of the entity. Due to this cited firm unable to make effective investment decisions soon thus, profitability of the entity gets hampered due to this weakness.
6.1.2 Poor monitoring and review
It is another weakness in A to Z Vehicle Hire company due to this cited firm is unable to analyses the performance of the organization. Due to poor monitoring and reviewing company cannot analyze its financial transaction in effective manner that creates problem in future because due to this its decision may be go in wrong direction thus, cited firm will not be able to accomplish its objective effectively. It can create burden on the entity because due to poor monitoring mistakes will not be identified thus, organization will be unable to know the current standards and it will not be able to resolve its issue.
6.1.3 Poor knowledge and experiences of staff members
It is another major weakness of the A to Z Vehicle Hire is that its accounting team has not that much knowledge that are required for maintaining the records. They do not know about current revenue and tax policies; even they are not able to operate the new software effectively. From the case study of A to Z Vehicle Hire company it is found that Mo was not having any knowledge that whether he should register for value added tax or not. Due to insufficient knowledge and information they are unable to maintain the accounting records in effective manner as per the standards. That impacts negative on the organization and it may create complications of the entity in the future.
6.1.4 Delay in preparing the quarterly accounts
From the case study it is found that A to Z Vehicle Hire company has released the thing in the partner's meeting that quarterly accounts had not still prepared. That is the biggest drawback in the current accounting process of cited firm. Due to this overall financial performance of the cited firm cannot be measured by the authorities on time. That is why they are unable to make necessary changes in the system on time that creates negative impact on the business performance and decreases its profitability.
Manual wages system is ineffective and slow
It is another weakness of the entity due to this time and costing of the organization gets increased. That creates financial burden on the entity and decreases its profitability to great extent.
From the case study it is found that A to Z Vehicle Hire company has many weaknesses and it is required to make changes in the accounting system soon so that overall performance of the organization can be improved to great extent.
6.2.1 Issue- Ineffective manual wages system and poor knowledge of staff members
Recommendation- For resolving this accounting issues in the organization it is essential that A to Z Vehicle Hire company gives training to its staff members. By giving them training of preparing wages system on computers cited firm will be able to resolve this problem soon. Computerized preparation of records can be fast and effective because chances of mistakes are very low. Thus, training will resolve issue of wages system soon.
6.2.2 Issue- Poor accounting software
Recommendation- Software up gradation is the solution of this problem. Currently staff members of A to Z Vehicle Hire company are working on poor accounting software that is why cited firm is unable to match with the standards. It should install high level accounting software such as Sage 200 etc. It would help in improving efficiency of work practices and mistakes will be reduced soon (Soh and Martinov-Bennie, 2011).
6.2.3 Issue- Poor monitoring and review
Recommendation- It is the major problem in A to Z Vehicle Hires firm, for resolving this problem cited firm is required to conduct internal and external audit time to time. So that mistakes can be minimized and efficiency level of accounting records can be improved.
6.2.4 Issue- delay in preparing quarterly accounting records
Recommendation- For resolving this weakness, cited firm should segregate duties of all staff members. By this, people will realize their responsibilities and will fulfill those on time without any failure (Lin and et.al., 2011). Company should hire skilled accounts receivable assistant officer who can prepare the accounts on time.
7. ETHICAL EVALUATION OF ACCOUNTING SYSTEM
7.1 Accounting system against ethical principles
Ethics are most essential part of business operations, it is all about doing the right think in order to run the business in ethical manner. It is the principle of accounting that to be fair and honest. It is necessary for the entity that to follow all instruction in effective manner and never breach any law. It is essential principle of accounting system is that to maintain confidentiality and integrity in the organization. It is necessary for A to Z Vehicle Hire company that to care the data properly.
7.2 Actual breaches of professional ethics in the organization
7.2.1 One of the main ethical principles is that to have professional competence and due care. But staff members of A to Z Vehicle Hire company was not having sufficient knowledge about accounting software and they are not aware with tax policies as well. It is the duty of company is that to maintain professional knowledge and increase level of skills of its workers those who are working in the accounting department. But employees of cited firm were not having knowledge and experience of accounting software and current standards. That is breach of ethical principle which is not acceptable in the organizations.
7.2.2 Confidentiality is the major ethical principal which is necessary to maintain by the corporation. In A to Z Vehicle Hire company employees were misusing the internet which was illegal and unethical. Access of unauthorized website is not ethical and it is consider as breach of law under the accounting system. There is risk that people can pass the confidential detail of the company to others which can create trouble for the organization. There were many people those who are doing the same that is breach of law and against the ethical principle.
7.2.3 It is necessary for the organization that to maintain integrity in the accounting system. It was found that Peter has told the Chandra that to use the last year account and increase figures. They have increased 80% gross income and have makes changes in net profit as well. It was fraud and unethical. Changes in management accounts in order to show more profit is completely wrong and this is termed as breach of integrity. That can cause trouble to the entity if bank trap the fraud that can harm the brand reputation and it may be possible that bank will not grant loans to the organization.
7.2.4 Professional behavior is another major ethical principle which was breached in A to Z Vehicle Hire company. It was noticed that staff are not taking their responsibilities seriously and they have not prepared quarterly accounts on time. This is wrong attitude and it is not professional behavior. Due to this cited firm fails to measures its performance and it cannot take action for increasing its profitability.
7.3.1 To resolve the professional ethical issues, organization needs to hire all those persons which are highly qualified and skilled so that they can easily understand the software system easily. Workers who are working in an accounting departments should be trained so that by using their specific knowledge they can easily understand all the accounting activities in an organization. Organization also gives the guidance about the accounting standards and code of ethics so that employees working level will also increases.
7.3.2 To make confidential workings in an organization also help to increase the level of organization (Stewart and Subramaniam, 2010). Firm need to banned the unauthorized use of sites and reduce the misuse of internet by using CCTV camera etc. By managing the behavior of professionals and make effective relationship between employees and seniors, helps to resolve the professional ethical issues. Company should try to organize learning programs through lectures, case study.
7.3.3 These activities help to build an effective relationship with the professional in an organization. Organization also set up code of ethics and violating the code so that all the issue is reported to the head of the department. Firm also need to prepare appropriate documentation which consists of the nature of the work and also help to reduce the risk/ liability for the organization. Professionals also examine the workers and educate them by certification process and professional learning as per the per-determined code of ethic (Bebbington, Unerman and O'Dwyer, 2014). Hence, by using the ethical code of conducts all the professionals’ ethic issues can be solved effectively in an organization.
8. SUSTAINABILITY EVALUATION OF THE ACCOUNTING SYSTEM
8.1 Payroll problems:
8.1.1 Payroll issues cause dis-satisfaction among the employee and organisation if salary is not paid on time. Employees become frustrated when they don't get payment. Payments are made in terms of business working days, can be made in duration like bi-weekly, twice-monthly or monthly. If these are made on time will affect the performance of employee and they will work effectively and efficiently (Evans, 2013). There are some reason which causes problems like using the incorrect deduction amounts, not classify the employees correctly, and overtime rules, no changes and no increment in payroll.
8.1.2 Organisation must increase the wages of employee timely which enhance their morale. There should no overtime rules and if employee is working overtime, they should be paid extra wages (Taylor and Curtis, 2010). Employee’s classification can be done properly to identify the work or each person and provide wages according to task or job.
8.2 Process of salary and wages:
8.2.1 Paying wages to employee’s, have large process that starts which the standard work assign to them, analysing the performance, monitoring the work and finding out quality of work done by employee’s.
8.2.2 This task is not performed by individual person. One person is required to analysis the skills and ability of each employee and then assign the standard performance, one person is required to monitor the actual performance of employee and one person is required to compensate according to work done by employee (Burritt and Schaltegger, 2010). Organisation must hire number of person for processing the salary and wages to the employee’s.
8.3 Management of accounts:
8.3.1 There are many problems arises in managing the accounts such as adaptability that the accounts are made according to standard and guidelines, the process and techniques are not adopted by the every organisation but can be done by specific companies. Some venture finds difficulty in implementation of the standard format of accounting, they don't find flexible as they want to change according to the environment.
8.3.2 Other issue is reliability, top level of management have to be dependent upon the accounting to make decision such as top level want to determine the sales of next year, the company need to wait for the figures of next year, can't able to determine by the past and present data. Maintaining the standard of accounting have huge cost, proper auditing should be done and if any incorrect data arises, it will spoil the decision making process of top level of management. While collection of all the data from internal and external source,
8.3.3 Organisation need to invest upon that, it requires proper design, implement, monitor and evaluate. For resolving this problem, venture need to maintain the proper records of their translation so that gathering of information does not include huge time and cost and timely analysis is done so that market trends helps to analysis the sales of coming year (Zimmerman and Yahya-Zadeh, 2011). The company should not totally rely on the financial data to take decision, he can take help from other departments such as production one to find out the inventory level and minimum and maximum stock level, sales one to find out the needs and wants of the consumer, research and development one to get innovative techniques for increase in sales and profitability and marketing one to attack large number of customer’s (Zadek, Evans and Pruzan, 2013).
9. INTERNAL CONTROL AND FRAUD EVALUATION
9.1 Internal control
In order to restrict the undesirable practices of A to Z is required to lay high level of emphasis on the aspect of internal control. Hence, by making assessment of accounts or records in against to voucher firm can get information about the level of employee’s dishonesty as well as errors and omission to a great extent. In this regard, through the means of internal check system A to Z can assess and evaluate errors more effectually.
9.2 Fraud evaluation
Cited case situation clearly entails that, with the motive to fulfill the requirements of banking institution personnel of A to Z showed 80% more income and 60% incline in net profit margin. Financial institution is one of the main stakeholders that require quarterly accounts for evaluating the financial position as well as aspects of business unit. Hence, due to the delay in the preparation of accounts Chandra increased figures in the latest quarter’s report. Such aspect comes under the category of fraudulent practices because inappropriate accounts presented by A to Z to the banking institution. In addition to this, one of the personnel failed to complete BRS with the high level of accuracy. Due to this, such personnel altered cash book that shows more error in such respective account. In addition to this, due to the fraudulent activities or practices cash flow problems occurred in A to Z. Moreover, when business unit started to make repayment to the customers then it may result into cash flow shortage. Thus, all such practices have placed greater impact on the monetary position or aspect of A to Z Vehicle Hire Company.
It is recommended to A to Z to conduct internal audit or assessment of accounts on periodical basis. Hence, by evaluating the recorded figures in against to the vouchers firm can get information about the actual position of financial aspects.
11. Cost-benefit analysis
11.1 Security of accounting records and use of ineffectual accounting software
11.1.1 Cited case situation shows that in the business unit unacceptable use of internet increased to the significant level as compared to the prior times. From the analysis of case situation it has been assessed that employees are spending their huge amount of time in sending discriminatory messages to others. In addition to this, employees also post anything on internet which in turn places direct impact on the image of business unit. Further, it has been found that personnel are involved in sharing confidential information to others. In A to Z alteration practices in the cash book also inclined to a great extent. Hence, it is recommended to make use of highly effectual software or system such as My SQL. This system will impose following cost and offers below mentioned benefits to the firm such as:
11.1.2 Cost analysis:For operating My SQL A to Z requires highly competent and skilled personnel. Moreover, My SQL is based on programming language so every personnel do not have ability to operate the same in an effectual way. Thus, firm is required to organize training for developing familiarity among the individuals about the advanced features of MY SQL. Moreover, without having proper knowledge about MY SQL personnel would not become able to deal with the same more efficiently. In this, requirements in relation to training aspect impose cost in front of firm and there by affects financial aspects of firm. Besides this, individuals within the firm also have to devote their time in the training aspects which in turn closely influences their productivity aspect. Hence, all such aspects clearly show that My SQL system has significant cost to the firm. However, cost level is less in against to the benefits which will be offered by MY SQL.
11.1.3 Benefit analysis: Adoption of software such as My SQL will offer several benefits to A to Z which in turn directly makes contribution in the attainment of organizational goals and objectives. Moreover, for operating My SQL there is no requirement of internet connection which is one the main effectual aspect of it. Moreover, one of the main issues within A to Z is that employees are making misuse of internet services. Thus, use of MY SQL will overcome the issue in relation to misuse of internet to a great extent. In addition to this, MY SQL software offers high level security to the business unit because such cannot be accessed by unauthorized individual. Thus, MY SQL will reduce undesirable accounting and hacking related practices to the significant level.
Lack of effective monitoring and review
- Solution: For proper monitoring and review of performance it is highly required for conduct internal audit on a periodical basis. This in turn clearly indicates the areas that require effectual control.
- Cost: For organizing internal audit efficient personnel of management team has to devote their valuable time in making evaluation of business practices. Thus, such aspect closely influences the productivity of the personnel involved in internal audit team.
- Benefits: By conducting internal audit A to Z can assess the deficiencies which take place in the accounting records. Thus, by making evaluation of accounts in against to voucher business unit can get idea about the fraudulent activities and thereby would become able to take corrective actions for improvement. In this way, effectual control can be exerted by A to Z on undesirable practices.
Delay in the preparation of quarterly accounts
- Solution: By appointing personnel with level 2 diploma and 3 as well as 4 in accounting (AAT)
- Cost: Recruitment of new accounting technician will impose cost in front of A to Z to some extent.
- Benefit: A to Z will enjoy high level of benefits by appointing skilled and experienced accounting personnel. Moreover, experienced individuals have ability to prepare accounts on time with the high level of accuracy. Hence, by preparing quarterly accounts within the suitable time frame A to Z would become able to satisfy the needs and expectation level of stakeholders. Along with this, one of the partners of A to Z does not have knowledge about the aspect that registration in relation to VAT and sales tax prove to be more beneficial for the firm. In this regard, by appointing highly skilled personnel partner of A to Z would become able to get benefits in terms of tax deductions or aspects.
11.4: Slow manual wage system
- Solution: Automation in the recording aspect or use of computerized system while preparing pay slips.
- Cost: If business entity of A to Z will make use of software for the assessment and preparation of pay slip then it may result into cost to the entity. Moreover, installation charges impose high cost in front of firm. In addition to this, for developing skills of personnel in relation to operating software company has to conduct training and development session. Such aspect also has cost to the company because arrangements in relation to training requires more resources.
- Benefit: Cost control is one of the main benefits that will be attained by A to Z in the case of the adoption of computerized software. Moreover, case study reveals that use of computerized system helps in avoiding the cost of printed payslips such as £20 for a box. Thus, profitability can be enhanced by A to Z through the means of automation. Moreover, software installation has one time cost for the firm and offers benefit to a great extent.
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