INTERNAL CONTROL SYSTEM AND FRAUD PREVENTION IN NIGER MILLS

INTERNAL CONTROL SYSTEM AND FRAUD PREVENTION IN NIGER MILLS

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CHAPTER ONE

                                      INTRODUCTION

1.1      BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Internal control system acts as an independent appraisal activity within an organization for the review of accounting, financial, and other operations as a basis of service to management. Internal control helps improving the efficiency and profitability of the business. Proper review and appraisal of policies is essential. Audit procedures should be periodically performed on a cycle basis so that all individuals will know that the activity may be subject to audit.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 control on fraud prevention in an establishment. 

1.3     OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

1.     To find out how functional is internal control to management control in Niger Mills.

2.     To appraise the contributions of the internal audit to management control towards the staff productivity in Niger Mills.

3.     To find out to which extent the internal control unit has been regularly checked to aid management controlin Niger Mills.

4.     To identify the problems associated with the internal control in management control and productivity.

1.4     RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

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

H0:   There is no significant relationship between internal control system and productivity in management controlin Niger Mills.

H1:    There is significant relationship between internal control system and productivity in management controlin Niger Mills.

H0:   Internal control system does not help Niger Mills management keep proper control of its activities and responsibilities.

H2:   Internal control system helps Niger Mills management keep proper control of its activities and responsibilities.

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 control function and productivity. It is therefore the aim of this study to examine internal control system and fraud prevention. 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 a company like in Niger Mills. 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 a case study of in Niger Mills.

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 control:Internal control, as defined in accounting and auditing, is a process for assuring achievement of an organization's objectives in operational effectiveness and efficiency, reliable financial reporting, and compliance with laws, regulations and policies.

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 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. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.





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