Proposal for Analytical Report: Relative Significance of Internal Controls in Preventing Accounting Fraud State College, PA 16801 October 10, 2012. Professor Jim Ausherman 3 Scott Building University Park, PA 16802 State College, PA 16801 October 10, 2012…
The research intends to answer the question, ‘is there a significant relationship between internal control practices and reported accounting frauds in organizations?’ It proposes to test the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between effectiveness of internal control mechanisms and incidence of accounting fraud in organizations. Introduction Fraud defines a criminal deception that targets a financial gain. While a final independent audit may identify accounting fraud for legal actions against suspected personnel, this avenue does not recover lost finances because criminal acts attracts no remedy to the victim. The best solution for safeguarding an organization’s finances is therefore through establishment of strong internal control avenues that can detect and prevent possible frauds. This research seeks to establish a basis ensuring implementation of most appropriate internal control measures. The problem Fraud is a major threat to the going concern of an organization, both small scale and large scale. This identifies fraud and internal control measures towards controlling fraud as essential elements to organizational management. A number of internal control measures exist for detecting and preventing fraud such as application of checks and balances on offices that deals in finance based issues like planning, authorizing, and accounting offices. Frequent reconciliation of accounts, restricting access to authorized personnel, strong policies and discouraging conspiracy are other identified control avenues (Hogan, 2011). Brainstorming to evaluate possible fraud or fraud indicators and monitoring compliance to codes of conducts as set by organizations also facilitates detection and prevention of fraud (Aicpa, 2005). Such measures are however hard to understand if fraud is deeply rooted in an organization, such as in circumstances where an organization’s management applies fraud in external ventures. This therefore identifies far-reaching effects of fraud that extends to industry’s performance and consumers economic factors. Fraud is however both a criminal and immoral act that should not exist in professional practice. Effective measures are therefore necessary to ensure that possible threats of fraud are identified and eliminated. Findings from this research will be instrumental to professional personnel that is charged with the responsibility of safeguarding an organization’s finances. Such are accounts officers and the chief accounting officer, internal auditors, organizations’ managements and external auditors. The accounts officers will find the research results helpful in identifying potential threats to fraud for necessary actions such as reporting to senior management officers. The chief accounting officers is however a chief beneficiary of the research findings that will help in controlling the vice in his docket. The management whose role involves disciplining employees and overly supervising an organizational activities and processes need to be informed about fraud control because they are the organization’s custodians to external stakeholders. Internal and external auditors will however find the results helpful in identifying inconsistencies in statements and in recommending appropriate measures ...
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