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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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15–5. Train Business Unit Staff on Control Issues

Many control problems arise because employees do not understand the impact of the improper usage of a control. They simply see it as an extra step to be followed or an inefficiency that can be overcome by altering the process. When internal auditors spot this type of problem, they usually report it to management, which must somehow find the time and resources to train employees in the proper use of the control. Since this training is not budgeted, it frequently does not occur, resulting in continuing control problems.

The internal auditor can mitigate this problem by setting aside time at the end of each audit to personally provide the necessary level of training. This will require extra time, so some padding must be added to the audit time budget to allow for training. Also, it is most helpful for the internal audit department to have a set of training guides on major topical areas prepared in advance, and readily accessible by all auditors for use. These guides should cover processes and controls in all major areas that are common to multiple business units, such as inventory transactions, order fulfillment, the purchasing process, and travel expense reporting. Though this best practice will require more auditor time than is usually the case, it helps to reduce the number of control problems that will be found during subsequent ...

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