Internal Audit As A Tool For Management Control

Project and Seminar Material for Accountancy / Accounting

Internal Audit As A Tool For Management Control


Abstract


This study explored the internal audit functions on management control in aiding productivity. But, to what extent has the internal audit unit been assessed in terms of its financial tract records. The design survey method was adopted for this study. The population of the study was 200. Then, the study’s sample which was determined from the study’s population through the Taro Yamani (1964) statistical tool was 133. In analyzing the obtained data the researcher adopted the simple percentage and statistical tools. In testing the hypotheses, the researcher used the Chi-square. Findings revealed that auditing has not been effectively done in most government establishment and private firms. Secondly, those that often do the the internal auditing are not subjected to regular scrutiny. Lastly, the internal unit of most establishments was not equipped with enough digital machines to effect and ascertain the internal auditing. Based on these findings, the study recommended that the internal audit unit of every firm be it private or government be checked on routine basis, secondly,internal auditing personnel be trained on routine basis.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Auditing involves the independent examination of an expression person in accordance with the terms of engagement and the observance of statutory regulations and professional requirement (Okolie, 2008). According to Milichamp (2003) the primary objective of an audit is to produce a report by the auditor of his opinion of the truth and fairness of financial statement, so that any person reading and using them can have belief in them. Management control has to do with management function aimed at achieving defined goals within an established timetable, and usually understood to have three components which include; setting standards, measuring actual performance, and taking corrective action. Management Control according to Wikipedia definition is one of the managerial functions like planning, organizing, staffing and directing. It is an important function because it helps to check the errors and to take the corrective action so that deviation from standards are minimized and stated goals of the organization are achieved in a desired manner. According to modern concepts, control is a foreseeing action whereas earlier concept of control was used only when errors were detected. Control in management means setting standards, measuring actual performance and taking corrective action. A typical process for management control includes the following steps: actual performance is compared with planned performance, the difference between the two is measured, causes contributing to the difference are identified, and corrective action is taken to eliminate or minimize the difference. The industrialization and dynamism of modern administration has created a vacuum to be filled by qualified and competent auditors. Auditing is a system that links management and the actual field of administration (Onu-chukwu, 1985). Internal audit is an independent function of auditing records, appraising the procedures and organization of a business and reviewing the effectiveness financial stability of the system of the internal checks with the aim of establishing a systematic disciplined approach that will aid in the evaluation of and improvement of the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes. Primarily, the internal audit function is to provide independent assurance over the internal controls and risk management of the Local Government council.

The system of internal check, audit or control in force in any undertaking is very important to the internal auditor because his task is to satisfy himself that the system is kept up to an efficient standard and also keep the system abreast of changes as are required. Onu-chuku (1985), described internal control as an independent appraised function established within an organization to examine and evaluate its activities as a service to the organization.Internal audit is concerned with the liability and adequacy of the accounting system through reliability and integrity of financial and operations information, effectiveness and efficiency of operation and material usage, compliance with laws, regulations, policies and procedures, adequacy and effectiveness of risk management frame work. The productivity of the internal audit system has to do with the extent to which the internal audit function has assessed and affected the administrative activity of the council.Corporate management has become complex in recent times. The emphasis on decentralization, increasing use of delegation of authority and even in volume of trade has made the art of management so complex and intriguing that only managers who master the modern scientific method of management can cope with the increasing demands scientific method of management can cope with the increasing demand required by the poison. To assess the complexity of the art of management, in the current increasing wake of business fraud, embezzlement and the cash squeezes which has crippled many companies because of the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP) and its attended foreign exchange and raw materials security. In order to cope with the current situation and keep their business profitable, management has to look more inwardly, to increase the profitability of the company and to keep the overall activity of the company under control. This can only be achieve through good effective internal control system of which internal auditing is a major problems and performance of every department in the company. As representative of top management, the internal auditor is interested in determining whether each branch or department has a clear understanding of its assignment whether it is adequately stated, maintains good records, protects cash and inventories and other assets properly, co-operates with other departments and in general carries out effectively the functions provided for it in the overall plan and organization of the business.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

It is important to note that auditing is an exercise done in order to verify the accounting procedures undertaken by the auditors internal or external. Productivity can only be seen if a firm or establishment is well audited against financial misappropriation. In addition, auditing brings about sanity in an establishment. However, if an establishment has been audited but the pertinent question arises: has the establishment been audited on regular or routine basis? If done are there accountability misappropriations discovered in the course of verification?
This study therefore tends to find out the influence of internal audit over the management control of business establishments.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

  1. To find out how functional is internal auditing to management control.
  2. To appraise the contributions of the internal audit to management control towards the staff productivity.
  3. To find out to which extent the internal audit unit has been regularly checked to aid management control.
  4. To identify the problems associated with the internal auditing in management control and productivity.

1.4 Research Hypothesis

The research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher in null and alternative statements.

  1. Ho: There is no significant relationship between internal audit system and productivity in management control.
    H1: There is significant relationship between internal audit system and productivity in management control.
  2. H0: Internal audit system does not help management keep proper control of its activities and responsibilities.
    H2: Internal audit system helps management keep proper control of its activities and responsibilities.
  3. H0: Internal audit system does not give confidence to management on its activities.
    H3: Internal audit system gives confidence to management on its activities.
  4. Ho: Internal auditing procedure does not point out material errors and frauds.
    H4: Internal auditing procedure does not point out material errors and fraud.

1.5 Significance of the Study

It may seem unbelievable to discover that many citizen of this country still lack of fundamental idea or knowledge of internal audit function and productivity. It is therefore the aim of this study to examine internal audit function and productivity on management control. It is believed that at the end of the study, that the findings will enlighten the public on how to ascertain the concept of internal audit function and productivity in the company. The study will also provide critical information to government, companies at all level in their effort in managing internal auditors. However, the study will act as source of reference for further researches on this subject.Specifically, the research will provide useful and meaningful insight into weakness in the current internal audit even in the oil company and provide useful information for making changes in the implementation of audit function. The research will serve as a fuel of new reasoning and further research work in audit practice in the organization. The impact of the study on both accounting and auditing theory practice and standards could be tremendous. It is agreed by the researcher that the study shall be of immense benefits to the accounting students of higher institution, management of auditor general office and seasoned professional Accountants.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is centered on internal audit as a tool on management control.

In the cause of the study, the researcher encounters some limitations which limited the scope of the study;

Staff Reluctance:

In most cases the staff of the used study often feels reluctance over providing required information required by the researcher. This result in finding information where the structured questionnaires could not point out.

Researcher’s Commitment:

The researcher, being of full time student spent most of her time on other academic activities such as test, class work, assignment, examination etc which takes average focus from this study.

Inadequate Materials:

Scarcity of material is also another hindrance. The researcher finds it difficult to long hands in several required material which could contribute immensely to the success of this research work.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Internal Audit

Seen here as the examination, monitoring and analysis of activities related to the companies’ operations, including business structure, employee behavior and information systems whilst reviewing company activities in order to identify potential threats to the organization’s health and profitability, and to make suggestions for mitigating the risk associated with those threats in order to minimize costs and ensure proper financial management.

Accounting System:

Royal Linlbery and Chon (1972) hold that accounting system is the total structure of record and procedures which discover record, classify and report information or on the financial position of a government unit or any funds balance account of a group and organizational components.

Auditing Procedures:

According to R. Glymme Williams (1974). He defined auditing procedures as acts to perform during the course of an examination. Auditing procedures are based on professional judgment applicable in the circumstances.

Audit Technique:

R. Glymm Williams (1974) defined audit technique as a method or details procedures essentials to express or execution in an art of science technique and procedures are classed related.

Auditing Standards:

These are measuring devices or models to which the audit must perform.

Auditing:

The Institute of Chartered Accountant in England and Wales defined auditing as “the independent examination and investigation of the books, accounts and vouchers of a business with a view of enabling the auditor to report whether the balance sheet and profit and loss account are properly drawn up so as to show a true and fair view of the state of affairs and the profit and loss of the business according to the best of the information and explanation obtained by the auditor”.

Productivity:

According to Mali (2006) productivity is defined as the measure of how well resources are brought together in organization and utilized for accomplishing a set of results. Productivity is reaching the highest level of performance with the least expenditure of resources. It is the effective user of the factors of production to produce goods and services that means productivity is the output resulting from a given resources input in a given time.

Management Control System:

A management control system (MCS) is a system which gathers and uses information to evaluate the performance of different organizational resources like human, physical, financial and also the organization as a whole in light of the organizational strategies pursued.Management control system influences the behavior of organizational resources to implement organizational strategies. Management control system might be formal or informal.


1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  1. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  2. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature.
  3. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  4. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  5. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five


Summary Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect internal audit as a tool on management control in Nigeria.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of internal control and financial management of universities in Nigeria.


5.2 Summary

Internal audit, as a tool for management control an assurance service, represents more than a legal requirement. Timely detection of irregularities is important for all economic and financial market players, for all users of financial information. A well-implemented internal audit structure and internal audit activities conducted carefully and conscientiously could signal potential dangerous situations due to poor management of assets (this should include all categories of resources, including human resources) with negative, if not so disastrous consequences for the company’s own business and also with implications over the economic environment. Development, implementation and continuous monitoring of internal controls system and procedures are the responsibility of the entire management and not just the auditor alone. Premchand (1999) sees public financial management as the link between the community’s aspirations with resources, and the present with future, Management of every organization has the line responsibility for designing, implementing and monitoring their internal controls system.The study revealed that there is no regular review of financial transaction by management and adequate segregation of duties.


5.3 Conclusion

The area of internal auditing is probably one of the most dynamic and yet important subjects to come to our attention. Internal audit is currently at a crucial stage in its development as there is a growing demand for audit services. What has yet to be formed is a consensus among theory and practice. This research did not have the intention of concluding the discussions over this matter; however, it is expected to be one more element to help the formation of opinions and to diffuse other discussions on the subject. This study has made a first and successful attempt to establish the positive relationship between the broad attributes of corporate governance and internal auditing. The main limitation of this study is that it is not focused on any specific industry sector or organizational size to any great extent. Taking into consideration that the interest in this field of research is rather new, it is necessary that the future orientation of the academics as well as of the practitioners be focused on the evolution of those governance mechanisms which will limit these troubles. From the above it is clear, that internal auditing develops ever-new approaches to internal auditing, devises new auditing products and services, and helps fulfill increasingly more complex demands that management nowadays faces. Related to that, it can be expected that internal auditing will be increasingly oriented towards advising the management on efficient corporate governance on management control.

The main limitation of this study is that it is not focused on any specific industry sector or organizational size to any great extent. Taking into consideration that the interest in this kind of research is rather new, it is necessary that the future orientation of the academics as well as of the practitioners be focused on the evolution of those governance mechanisms which will limit these challenges.


5.4 Recommendation

Haven successfully completed the study; the researcher therefore makes the following recommendations that:
Future research should take a more focused approach by examining the matters reported in this research work in different areas of industry sectors and organizational size, and evaluate the development of individual elements and steps of the approach.

Management should ensure that there are adequate organizational controls and that each staff knows his duties and equally ensures effective segregation of duties so as to reduce interference in terms of funds; and assets management and controls.

There should be a good communication between auditors and management for a maximum of effectiveness of Internal Audit, so that the management would be open to the proposed recommendations. It is very important for the auditor to properly diagnose a situation (it is ideal as the auditor has knowledge and receive complex explanations necessary to understand the work properly).

Internal audit function should be strengthened more in order to provide reasonable assurance for all audited domains/activities, which will add value to the company. It’s more than obvious that this economic crisis, characterized by some specialists without precedent, will have a significant impact on the development of several areas, one being the internal audit.


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