CASE STUDY: THE TROLLEY DODGERS 1. Identify the key audit objectives for a client’s payroll function.
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Test of Control: Examine internal control to see if the payroll payments are for exiting work and existing employees. The test could be examining all the workers time cards, personnel files and review organization chart. They also can discuss with employees and observe duties being performed. The tests would examine printouts of transactions rejected by the computer as having nonexistent employee numbers. Substantive Test of Transactions: The test to see if the right dollar amount in the payrolls were recorded and paid properly.
They also test to review large dollar amount in the journal entries, general ledger and payroll earnings. Examine cancelled checks for proper endorsement could be compare with a personnel record. ii. Key Audit Objective : Completeness Dodgers must record all existent payroll transactions. Test of Control: The test is to see if the existing payrolls are recorded. If employees do not get any payment, so they can directly report to the employer. They also test to review the renumbered payroll check to find the missing one. Substantive Test of Transaction: They can compare the book and payroll bank statement.
Therefore, they will prove the bank reconciliation and can look for unmatched dollars amount. iii. Key Audit Objective : Accuracy Dodgers recorded payroll transactions are for the amount of time actually worked and at the proper pay rates accuracy. Test of Control: The test is to see if the right hours and right rate are recorded and tax withholding is correct. Batch totals are compared with computer summary reports. Auditors could examine authorization in payroll records and personnel files. Substantive Tests of Transaction: To test for exact dollar amount, auditors could recalculate gross and net pay.
They also can compare pay rate with the industry, review cancel check withholdings by referring to tax tables and authorization forms in personnel file. iv. Key Audit Objective: Posting and Summarization. Dodgers recorded payroll transaction properly included in the master file also properly summarized. Test of Control: When payroll master file totals are compared with general ledger totals, auditors should examine initialed summary total reports indicating that comparison has been made. They also must examine indication of internal verification.
Substantive Test of Transaction: Test clerical accuracy by footing the payroll journal and tracing postings to the journal ledger and the payroll master files. v. Key Audit Objective : Classification Dodgers classify all payroll transaction properly and efficiently. Test of Control: They should review charts of accounts. If the account classifications are internally verified, then they can examine indication of internal verification. Substantive Test of Transaction: They can review time cards and job ticket, and trace through to labor distribution.
They should compare classification with chart of accounts or procedures manual. vi. Key Audit Objective : Timing Dodger must record all payroll transaction immediately, on the correct date and right amount. Test of Control: Auditors should examine procedures manual and observe when recording takes place and examine indication of internal verification. Substantive Test of Transaction: The auditor compare date on checks with date in the payroll journal and compare date on check with date the check cleared the bank. 2. What internal control weaknesses were evident in the Dodgers’ payroll system?
Internal control is a process, affected by an entity’s board of director, management and other personnel, designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of objectives in reliability of financial reporting, effectiveness and efficiency of operations and compliance with laws and regulations. Internal control weakness in the Dodgers’ Payroll System are from the design of internal control, no independent check and performance, no separation of duties, the weakness of work environment, and required vacation for senior manager. . Design of internal control Campos, the operations payroll chief have designed the internal control by himself and implemented a new payroll system that only can be fully understand by him. As we know, the purpose of design the internal control is to prevent or detect material misstatement in the financial statement. Due to this case, Campos can easily commit fraud because there are no other people that can understand the design of the internal control. ii. No independent check and performance
Campos controlled the system so completely that he personally filled out the weekly payroll card for each of the four hundred employees. He can record any fraudulent statement because there is no evidence that shows whether the record is reliable or not. iii. No separation of duties Campos took advantage of his authorization because he was the trusted employee who got trusted too much from Dodges’. When he was on vacation, he came back and did the payroll. There is no separation of the custody of assets from accounting. A person who has temporary or permanent custody of an asset should not account for that asset.
This is because by allowing one person to perform both function increases the risk of that person disposing of the asset for personal gain and adjusting the records to cover up the theft. As we can see in this case, Campos was the only one who responsible for every task. iv. Weakness of the work environment There is collusion between employees and management. This showed that both Campos and his cohort have low work ethic. Campos routinely inflated the number of hours worked by several employees and then split the resulting over payment fifty-fifty with those individuals.
In addition to this, Campos also embezzle several hundred thousand dollars from his employer. 3. Identify audit procedure that might have led to the discovery of the fraudulent scheme mastermind by Campos. Audit procedure is the detailed instruction for the collection of a type of audit evidence that is to be obtained at some time during the audit. i. The auditor must understand clearly the flow chart Auditor should go through the Dodger’s payroll flow chart. The auditor must understand clearly the flow chart. From that, the auditor can trace how the payroll system is going on actually.
Then, the auditor would see there are no independent checks that have been done by Campos. The payroll department also does not have segregation of duties and all that work is done by Campos only. ii. The auditor can interview employees in payroll department. The auditor can interview employees in payroll department. The auditor can ask whatever question that they think it’s very important and need to know. Like, how much Campos pay for daily operations works for every level of staff, and how Campos manage the time card. The auditor will know more detailed about the payroll process. ii. The auditor test for nonexistent employees For make sure the all transaction that have recorded by Campos and payroll department is really exist and they make payment to the non fictitious employees, the auditor compare names on cancelled checks with the time card have created. The auditor can scan the endorsement on cancelled checks. Furthermore, auditor also can make comparison on personal files of employees with time card that created. Other than that, the auditor can run test of control by selected transaction in the payroll with Human Resources department.
The auditor can select a week check transaction and examine the first fifty checks, select the fifty checks with the largest amounts, select the checks randomly or select those checks the auditor thinks are most likely to be in error or a combination of this method could be used. Besides that, the auditor request surprise payroll payoff from payroll department. When the auditor requests for payroll payoff suddenly, for sure the payroll department do not chance and do not have enough time to make correction on their system. So, Auditor will see the real transaction that have make by that department. Finally, the uditor can trace the misstatement, fraud and error easily. iv. The auditor tests for fraudulent hours Other than that, the auditor also can reconcile the total hours paid in the payroll records with and independent record of hours worked. Auditor would see, if payroll record transaction is true based on the time card or not. The auditor can trace if the record keeping employees have intention to do that fraud. v. The auditor compare pay rates with the same positions in other baseball team in the league. The auditor also should understand business nature and make comparison with another similar business nature.
From that result, the auditor will know how much is exactly pay rates usually paid to the professional baseball. After done that activity, the auditor is able to identify the pay rates that put by Campos to the every level worker is it relevance or not. vi. The auditor examines the large payroll checks. Last steps, that auditor use to discover the fraud is by examine the largest payroll checks out. The auditor reconciles the checks between the payroll record, time card, and all relevance data
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