Supporting documentation can include a receipt of purchase, check numbers, and invoices just to name a few. Such analytical procedures to verify existence assertions would be bank reconciliations and cash flow analyses. Without the documentation and analytical procedures to support financial transactions, the accuracy of the accounts receivable will not be strong and this will greatly overstate or understate each account. To correct this, the existence and rights assertions are necessary to audit each account and verify that each transaction recorded has been recorded accurately and within the specified time period.
The payroll cycle is a common source of frustration for an accounting and auditing department because of the myriad errors and cases of fraud that can take place. Employees may turn in fraudulent time sheets that state they have worked more or less hours than were actually completed. Supervisors may not adequately review all time sheet data and it may be passed through the payroll cycle without ever being checked for accuracy. Furthermore, employees can sometimes create ghost employee records where payroll is paid to an employee that does not exist and costs the company thousands of dollars in unnecessary payroll expenses. Separation of duties is a common control method utilized by accounting and payroll professionals to detect payroll errors and catch fraudulent activity before it ever truly becomes an issue. For instance, companies are encourage to “have a minimum of two employees review bank statements and returned checks every month. Also, divide Payroll duties so different people are responsible for approving time sheets, entering hours worked data, distributing paychecks, etc.” (Bilski, 2010). Having multiple people fill specific duties throughout the payroll cycle will have an adequate set of controls in place to