ACC00718 Business Accounting Assignment Help
Australian Public Company
Identify five (5) procedures and checks that would have reduced the risk to the victim company?
Identify and discuss which internal control could have prevented this fraud and give five (5) examples?
Identify and discuss five (5) procedures could have alerted the auditor to the fraud?
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In the present scenario, a major Australian public company hired a promotional support organization to prepare strategies and advertise its product. However, the promotional company came out to be a fraud who falsely raised the number of respondents in response to the desired outcome and in return took thousands of dollars as payment. In order to prevent such fraudulent risk, the Australian company should have implemented the following five procedures and check to prevent from such risk:
- Information disclosure - According to the law (35 U.S.C. & 297), it is obligatory for promoters or promotion firm to disclose the self-information to the client company in a written form (Bussmann, & Niemeczek, 2017). In particular, the information must include its past business practices, such as the total number of promotional activities performed in the past 5 years, account of received positive as well as negative responses from customers, and the total number of customers influenced from the promotions (purchase decision). It has to also mention the name and addresses of all the previous client companies, worked in the past 10 years.
- Check before committing - Prior to commencement with the promotion firm, the payee company should visit the federal trade commission (FTC), to search if the company is already investigated or fined by FTC (Krambia-Kapardis, 2016). In this context, it is also possible to consult the "Better Business Bureau". Furthermore, if the client company holds a patent attorney or agent, then it can ask the Chamber of Commerce to provide an ethical promotion firm.
- Register complain - In case, if a company gets trapped in such a situation as detailed in the given case example of the Australian company, immediate measures must be taken to register a complaint against the fraud firm at USPTO's scam prevention web page (Bussmann, & Niemeczek, 2017)
- Agreement form - At the time of hiring any consulting firm, the payee company should prepare an agreement form to create a contract business between both parties. This, in turn, could prove to be helpful in avoiding any kind of fraud in the future.
- Alert to warning signs - The client company should never accept promises, any presentations, and assurance in the form of verbal or mutual dialogue based assurance (Peters, & Maniam, 2016) Advertisements on television and the internet provide offers for free promotion of companies, to target independent and small entrepreneurs.
In this case study, the Australian subsidiary is found to be the victim of organizational internal fraud by trade payable clerk. Effective internal control measures such as anti-fraud control could prevent such fraud. Five examples of internal control measures include:
- Increment system of check and balance - In the mentioned approach, no person will have control over the financial transaction. In conjunction with the receipt and deposit functions, the operations will be handled separately for the purpose of record-keeping.
Furthermore, in such a context, it is the responsibility of the organization to ensure that the same person is not authorized to write as well as sign a check (Tunley, Button, Shepherd, & Blackbourn, 2018).
- Reconciling bank account - Reconciliation in this framework refers to the provision in which the organizations should operate the bank account by an independent individual who is not directly associated with bookkeeping responsibilities. Furthermore, the canceled checks should be reviewed to identify that vendors are recognized, and the signature is done by authorized persons. Such measures not only prevent fraudulent activity but also accounts for constant monitoring for active financial transactions.
- Restriction for use of company credit - All the company credit related expenditures should be reviewed to identify that it is being used in business-related activities. Establishing a policy to enforce credit cards only for business along with account limit is also effective and is functionalized by a majority of firms, as detailed in the report by Krambia-Kapardis et al (2016).
- Ensure company assets - The expense of the company such as cell phones, telephone bills, vehicles, and credit cards should be examined periodically, to ensure that it is used for business purposes. As reported by Bussmann, et al (2017), such provision also ensures accountability to reduce overhead expenses as well as financial wastage.
Protect checks against fraud - In order to protect check against fraudulent use, there should be the provision of writing checks as "payable to cash". Blank checks should be stored securely in a locker and verified by concerned authorities. The invoice should be marked as "paid" along with its respective check number when it is issued.
The five procedures that can alert the auditor in conjunction with any potential fraud are as follows:
- Expanded inquiries - This measure forms an effective tool for fraudulent investigation. The individuals who are reluctant or denying to participate in volunteer information are considered as fraud suspects. In such a context, the auditors ask queries to the management team about the risk of fraud or suspect based on their knowledge (Tunley, Button, Shepherd, & Blackbourn, 2018).
- Evaluate programs - With the identification of misstatement due to fraudulent, the audit team should evaluate the program and controls to prevent detect and, deter fraud. They will evaluate whether these programs are suitably designed and controlled.
- Team discussion - In order to increase the awareness of fraud through the risk assessment process, the audit team members create a discussion to share their insights, exchange ideas related to the susceptibility of financial statements towards material misstatement due to fraudulent activities (Bussmann, & Niemeczek, 2017).
- Investigating revenue related risk - Risk related to revenue recognition is considered as the most occurred fraudulent financial instances. It is the prime cause for restating financial statements as suggested by Knechel, & Salterio, (2016). To identify this risk, the audit team plants to identify unusual relationship comprising of revenue and its related accounts.
- Expanded scope - On the information collected from team discussion, and inquiries, revenue related investigation, and program evaluation accident scope of information for the auditor to consider the risk type that may occur within the organization, which may be either misappropriation of assets or fraudulent financial reporting. The auditor should also evaluate the magnitude of risk, its likelihood, and its pervasiveness.
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