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Internal Control, Auditing , identify control weaknesses

Adherence to generally accepted auditing standards requires, among other things, a proper understanding of the existing internal control. The most common approaches to documenting the understanding of internal control include the use of a questionnaire, preparation of a written narrative, preparation of a flowchart, or a combination of these methods.

a. Discuss the advantages to CPAs of documenting internal control by using:
o (1) An internal control questionnaire.
o (2) A written narrative.
o (3) A flowchart.
b. If they are satisfied that no material weaknesses in internal control exist after completing their description of internal control, is it necessary for the CPAs to conduct tests of controls? Explain.

Randall, Inc., is a private company that manufactures heavy machinery. The company has an active audit committee and board of directors. The audit committee consists of two outside directors and Howard Kress, the company chief financial officer. The audit committee meets quarterly to provide oversight of financial reporting, including reviewing new accounting policies and unusual transactions. Howard Kress personally reviews and approves any related party transactions. Internal audits of operating units are performed by the internal auditor, who reports directly to Laura Howe, the chief operating officer.

The company has a written code of conduct, and employees agree to adhere to the code when they are hired. The company also has a hotline for confidential reporting of unethical behavior that is staffed by the corporate controller. The audit committee reviews summaries of all incidents and investigations performed.

Identify the weaknesses in Randall's system of corporate governance and provide suggestions for improvement in the system.

CPAs may decide to apply nonstatistical or statistical techniques to audit testing.
a. List and explain the advantages of applying statistical sampling techniques to audit testing.
b. List and discuss the decisions involving professional judgment that must be made by the CPAs in applying statistical sampling techniques to tests of controls.
c. You have applied attributes sampling to the client's pricing of the inventory and discovered from your sampling that the sample deviation rate exceeds your tolerable rate. Discuss the courses of action you take.

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a. Discuss the advantages to CPAs of documenting internal control by using:
(1) An internal control questionnaire.

PRO: This is standard and has all the classic questions already present. So, it is a great "starter set" of questions so that you don't have to build it from scratch.

CON: It will have questions that do not apply and will not have industry specific or client specific questions. So, it still requires review to customize. And the answers can be disjointed and so it is hard to get the "full story" from reading a set of short answers.

(2) A written narrative.

PRO: This is nice because the flow tells the story, likely in a sequence of action. The procedural flow is easy to read and makes sense to the client when they review it for accuracy and update it each year.

CON: A narrative does not organize the information according to the major and minor controls. So, the auditor has to shift through the narrative and identify the major and minor controls or missing controls and document them separately.

(3) A flowchart.

PRO: This is easy to read for both the client and the auditor and easy to update. A visual representation is quicker to review than pages of text.

CON: Not everyone can absorb a "map" presentation because it requires abstract thinking and some facility with reading icons which some client personnel may not be strong enough to use. The map may not contain enough details to get the full story, showing instead just the sequence or flow but not who is doing what and under what circumstances.

b. If they are satisfied that no material weaknesses in ...

Solution Summary

Your discussion is 882 words and two references and gives six weaknesses, five recommendation, three pros and four cons for statistical testing and five decisions requiring judgment in statistical sampling for controls.