ACCTING 3502 Auditing And Professional Practice

ACCTING 3502 Auditing And Professional Practice

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ACCTING 3502 Auditing And Professional Practice

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ACCTING 3502 Auditing And Professional Practice

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Course Code: ACCTING3502
University: The University Of Adelaide is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia

1. During my association with the club, I could observe that a small and medium-sized corporation such as Binalong Community Club might perhaps require a full-time chief financial officer to properly monitor the performance of the firm, understand KPIs, identify financial metrics, detect pitfalls and act accordingly
2. Implementation of accounting information system in place of the manual system can help in solving the identified errors in accounting.

Binalong Community Club is one of the clubs having an 18 holes sand green course for golf, café and a licensed bar. It also has a clubhouse, which makes it even more attractive for an outing with friends and family. It also has superior home style cooking to offer to the visitors but off late, it has been facing a number of issues in the accounting and financial reporting due to manual system and age-old processes and methods being used in the business (Arnott, et al., 2017). Some of the major issues, which were being witnessed, includes positive and negative cash flows in business, if the cash flows is equal to profits, the appropriate inventory that needs to be held by the organization at a given point of time, the overdue invoices and the non-utilization of the cash balance and therefore hurting the liquidity of the business. On close examination, it was found that the major issues revolves round several things like that of delayed recovery of receivables, delay in the payables, invoicing inefficiencies, manual system being used for accounting and inadequate KPI’s for different teams coupled with inefficient decision making (Alexander, 2016). Few of measures suggested were hiring of a full time chief financial officer who would be having an overall visibility of the performance of the organization and who can detect and resolve the pitfalls, implementation of automated accounting information system instead of manual accounting system, automation of the billing process, tracking system for accounting, receivables management, etc.
Problem Statement
Out of the diverse issues, one problem that has been selected for analysis and discussion is the invoicing and the billing issue, which is one of the very critical activities to be focused upon considering it, might lead to huge delay in sales and thus cash collection. In a way it impacts most of the other activities including those of sales, receivables, cash flow management and the accounting cycle a whole (Bailey, et al., 2017). As per the given case study, the company is not being able to track the invoicing and the billing procedures and there are issues like inconsiderable delay in billing, missing and mixing of invoices, the speed of billing, missing out on correct timelines for payment of vendor bills, errors in accounting, unnecessary wastage of paper and manual intervention. Given the size of the organization, a big, large and intensive software such a SAP would not be a best fit as it is meant for the larger organization and above all, it needs the expertise of the personnel to operate the same for business purposes. Therefore, all the given problems and issues needs to be sorted in some other manner which has been mentioned below.
Cost to the company 
The problems and issues pointed out above can cost to be detrimental to the interests of the company and can significantly result in missing the revenue. These are some of the operational measures and the system where the agility is warranted or else the customer may switch on to the competitors. Some of the consequences, which the company may face because of above-mentioned issues, are shown below:

The delay in billing and invoicing may lead to increase in receivable days and elongating the cash cycle for the organization(Cheatham & Cheatham, 1996).
This may also hamper the liquidity of the company big time and the receivables days may increase considerably.
Delayed processing of the bills and therefore delayed payment to the vendors or missing the timelines for payment may lead to deterioration of the relationship with the vendors and may lead to payment terms being changed to advance.
Such complications in the invoicing processes may also be leading to wrong accounting and thereby may lead to reconciliation issues in the future for both the vendors as well as customers(Choy, 2018).
Furthermore, since there is manual accounting processes, it may lead to manipulations and several audit issues as there is no internal control about the same.
Finally, since there is no tracking or MIS on the same and no reviewed process of the same, this might lead to further operational efficiencies, which may have a material impact on the performance of the company.

Plans and recommendation
There are a number of recommendations and plans in place by which the inefficiencies in the invoicing and billing mechanism can be sorted and the processes in the organization can be streamlined, some of which are mentioned below. However, before mentioning the steps, there should be a flowchart built in the organization, which will help the personnel and the staff to understand the flow of activities and thereby make each one of them responsible for the same.

At the very first place, the manual billing system needs to be replaced by the automated billing and invoicing system, which would be capable enough to post the correct entries in the system and would thereby reduce the chances of errors and material misstatements. The other benefit of implementing such a system is that it leads to accurate and quick outputs thus avoiding the delay in the processes. Less human intervention would also ensure mismanagement of the invoices and thus unwanted errors(Vieira, et al., 2017).
There should be segregation of duties in the organization whereby different teams and members would be allocated to the different duties, there would be no confusion regarding the roles and responsibilities, and it would help in avoiding the unnecessary delays and overlapping of the activities. With the segregation of duties, the speed of the work can be fastened and the accuracy of the operations can be strengthened. Furthermore, it will also lead to fixing of the responsibility on the individuals for the different work areas and therefore progress and delays can be tracked(Werner, 2017).
There must also be a full time appointment of the chief financial officer who will oversee all the activities in the organization and monitor the performance of the teams. This would be in the benefit of the organization, as it would help in overall supervision where the CFO can set out the individual KPIs and can also identify the pitfalls in the financial process and suggest the way out.
For the invoicing process to be quick and agile the company should be having a scanning team which will scan all the given invoices from vendors and feed in the requisite details to the system, post which the individual creditors ledger will be fed in with the requisite details and the accounting entry would be passed in the system. Besides this, there should also be a present scheduling of payment of invoices once the credit period is over(Sithole, et al., 2017). If this is done, there would be a reminder for the payment of the overdue invoices in advance and the chances of missing the payment on time would be minimised.
About billing to the customers, there should be an online system whereby the bill would be automatically generated once the sales is effected and would be sent to the mail ids of the dealers and customers. There would be no need of the paper invoices and in this way the unnecessary usage, wastage of the paper can be minimised, and everything can be made online. Besides the above measure, the repository of the data should be maintained automatically on the cloud. There would be multiple benefits out of it such that there would be no space constraint in terms of memory and the data would be backed up electronically on cloud for future references and back up, if any.
As part of the internal control process, there should also be an approval matrix in place whereby the permission and authorisation would be required from the managers and the Chief Financial Officer of the company in case the payment is to be made on immediate basis or it is a huge amount. This would put a visibility in the entire value chain and help in keeping a track on the payments. In case there is any fraud, then the same can be detected if the value based approval matrix is in place(Belton, 2017).
For all the accounting entries, which goes into the system while invoicing, billing and payment accounting, there should be a dual review in place such that there is a reviewer and checker concept and no errors and frauds are there. This would ensure that there is a four-eye principle being followed and this will serve as the audit trail.
Besides the above measures, there should also be a monthly meeting and the flow of the MIS. This will help in pointing out and figuring out the inefficiencies and thereby removing the same through appropriate measures in time(Farmer, 2018).

Cost benefit analysis
For the above measures to be implemented and practiced in the given organization, the club would have to invest in the processes and method. Some of which are as follows:

Setting up an automated system of invoicing which will require a software to be installed such as Zero where the general accounting can be done as well as the financial statements can be prepared – the same will cost around $10000-$12000 per year.
Training of the personnel and the staff – This will be a onetime activity which will be costing nearly $ 3500-4000
The space in cloud would be required so that the storage can be used and can be backed up in future if required which would cost at around $ 4000(Goldmann, 2016).
The maintenance of the system and the IT charges would be on monthly basis and would be costing at around $ 2500-3000 per month.
Furthermore, depending on the requirement the full time employee and the part time employees would be hired for the different departments. In case the same is assumed to be 10 and 5 respectively in the given case, then the same would cost at around $ 5000 and $ 3000 per employee respectively(Marques, 2018).
The CFO also needs to be hired in the given case for the overall supervision who salary can be estimated to be around $ 12000-13000 per month.
Besides this, there would be several other operating charges, which would be incurred in the day-to-day affair like those of printing charges, stationary, etc. for which a separate budget of $ 1000-1500 can be allocated.

Therefore, all together there will be expenses of $ 700000-750000 including all the operational expenditure and the salaries of the staff and the CEO. The benefits it would be reaping will be in the form of standardised processes, real time invoicing, lower receivable days, positive cash flow, non-loss of sales revenue, good relationship management with the customer as well as the vendors, better negotiation ability with the vendors, less wastage of paper, availability of backup and recovery of the data in the case of a mishap and it would also serve as the audit trail (Jefferson, 2017).
Other critical issues
There are several other issues which needs to be addressed in the Binalong community club like those of non-recovery of the receivables on time which can be improved by sending a customized tracker to the customer on the overdoes and the outstanding amount (amount pending to be received) after the credit period automatically through the computerised system. This will help in reminding them of the dues and that in case the same is not paid on time, the penal interest would be charged. The computerised system can also be helpful in tracking of the inventory and thus can help in the proper management of the same (Kew & Stredwick, 2017). It can help the management in knowing what are the levels of inventory on a real time basis and in suggesting when to procure the inventory and when to stop. Thus, it would be helpful in savings the inventory losses and the inventory carrying costs (Fukukawa & Mock, 2011). It was also being learnt in the given exercise that the profit of the entity is not equal to the flow of cash. There might be several items which are non-cash based but still do find a place in the profit and loss account or the income statement of the entity like those of depreciation, accrued interest, outstanding payment on account of rent or salaries, the dividend proposed or the income tax liability, all these items are based on the accrual principle and do not actually result in the inflow or outflow of cash but do contribute the profit and loss of the entity (Linden & Freeman, 2017). It is for this reason that the profit and loss account of the entity and the cash flow statement is being prepared separately.
From the above discussion and the analysis on the ins and outs of Binalong community club, we can see that there are a number of system constraints in the organization, which may lead to huge losses in the future. These operational inefficiencies may lead to lose of customers for the organization and depletion of the relationships with the vendors. Furthermore, there might be a huge financial loss for the entity and therefore several ways have been suggested and recommended for one of the most important processes in the organization, i.e., billing and invoicing. The major outcomes of the study include implementation of the automated billing and invoicing software, training of the personnel, segregation of the duties, hiring of the skilled staff and the CFO for the company and the use of cloud services. The cost benefit analysis has also been done to give an assurance and to prove that the long-term benefits and gains that they would accrue to the organization would be more than the short-term costs and expenses. Overall, in case the recommended process is implemented it would also lead to improvement in the internal control processes of the organization. 
Alexander, F., 2016. The Changing Face of Accountability. The Journal of Higher Education, 71(4), pp. 411-431.
Arnott, D., Lizama, F. & Song, Y., 2017. Patterns of business intelligence systems use in organizations. Decision Support Systems, Volume 97, pp. 58-68.
Bailey, C., Collins, D. & Abbott, L., 2017. The Impact of Enterprise Risk Management on the Audit Process: Evidence from Audit Fees and Audit Delay. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, 37(3), pp. 25-46.
Belton, P., 2017. Competitive Strategy: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. London: Macat International ltd.
Cheatham, C. & Cheatham, L., 1996. Redesigning cost systems: Is standard costing obsolete?. Accounting Horizons, 10(4), p. 23.
Choy, Y. K., 2018. Cost-benefit Analysis, Values, Wellbeing and Ethics: An Indigenous Worldview Analysis. Ecological Economics, p. 145.
Farmer, Y., 2018. Ethical Decision Making and Reputation Management in Public Relations. Journal of Media Ethics, 33(1), pp. 1-12.
Fukukawa, H. & Mock, T., 2011. Audit risk assessments using belief versus probability. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, 30(1), pp. 75-99.
Goldmann, K., 2016. Financial Liquidity and Profitability Management in Practice of Polish Business. Financial Environment and Business Development, 4(3), pp. 103-112.
Jefferson, M., 2017. Energy, Complexity and Wealth Maximization, R. Ayres. Springer, Switzerland. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, pp. 353-354.
Kew, J. & Stredwick, J., 2017. Business Environment: Managing in a Strategic Context. second ed. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Linden, B. & Freeman, R., 2017. Profit and Other Values: Thick Evaluation in Decision Making. Business Ethics Quarterly, 27(3), pp. 353-379.
Marques, R. P. F., 2018. Continuous Assurance and the Use of Technology for Business Compliance. Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, pp. 820-830.
Sithole, S., Chandler, P., Abeysekera, I. & Paas, F., 2017. Benefits of guided self-management of attention on learning accounting. Journal of Educational Psychology, 109(2), p. 220.
Vieira, R., O’Dwyer, B. & Schneider, R., 2017. Aligning Strategy and Performance Management Systems. SAGE Journals, 30(1).
Werner, M., 2017. Financial process mining – Accounting data structure dependent control flow inference. International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, 25(1), pp. 57-80.

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