THE ROLE OF INTERNAL AUDITORS IN STOCK TAKING

(Accounting)

THE ROLE OF INTERNAL AUDITORS IN STOCK TAKING

(A CASE STUDY OF TOTAL NIGERIA LIMITED)

ABSTRACT

This research work is designed for the study of the role of internal auditors in stock taking as it affect Total Nigeria Limited. Internal auditors may be defined as in house approval activity which provide services to management by examining the application and effectiveness of system and controls within the organization in a manner that is independent of those operations, systems and controls.

In embarking on this project work, efforts should be made to limit the research to the areas of study which is hinged on their roles in stock taking activity in business organization.  In chapter one, this work deals with the general introduction of the work by describing both auditing and stock taking.  It also entails statement of problem, purpose of the study, significance, scope, limitation and statement of hypothesis and most of the terms used were defined in this chapter.

Chapter two gives the review of the related literature and studies. Also, the role of internal auditor under the law, internal auditing, stock taking, structure of Total Nigeria Limited and its operation, position of the internal audit department in Total Nigeria Limited, functions of the department, an example of internal auditors report, importance of effective communication among and with the internal audit unit, and stock taking of black and white products were reviewed also in this chapter.

Chapter three of this work deals with the research design and methodology.

It also showed the sources of data and the sample used.

Chapter four showed how the data collected was presented and analyzed using a simple or percentage analysis on the hypothesis.

Finally, chapter five which is the last chapter of this work contains the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations.

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0.  INTRODUCTION

1.1.  Statement of problem

1.1       Purpose of the study

1.2       Significance of the study

1.3       Statement of hypothesis

1.4       Scope of the study

1.5       Limitations of the study

1.6       Definition of terms

CHAPTER TWO

2.0   REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1   The role of Internal Auditing under the law (statue)

2.2   Internal Auditing

2.3   Stock Taking

2.4   Structure of Total Nigeria Limited and its operation

2.5   Position of the Internal Audit Department in Total Nigeria Ltd.

2.6   Functions of the Internal Audit Department

2.7   An example of the internal auditors report

2.8   importance of effective communication among and with the internal audits

1.9       the role of internal auditors in total Nigeria Limited

1.10   Presentation of the role of internal auditors in total Nigeria Ltd.

1.11   Reporting and its effect

2.12  Stock taking of black and white products

CHAPTER THREE

1.0       RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

1.1       Source of data

Primary data

Secondary data

1.2       Sample used

1.3       Method of investigation

 

CHAPTER FOUR

1.0       DATE PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS

1.1       Data presentation and Analysis

1.2       Test of hypothesis

 

CHAPTER FIVE

5.0   SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1   Findings

5.2   Conclusion

5.3   Recommendations 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

REFERENCES

CHAPTER ONE

 

1.0   INTRODUCTION

People tend to erroneously think that auditing is a sub-division of accounting probably because that is how it was introduced to them and every auditor as we know is also an accountant.  But, every accountant is not an auditor.  Auditing has its roots elsewhere.  The relationship of auditing and accounting is close but they are not the same.

 

Accounting is concerned with the collection, classification, summarization and communication of financial information.  It involves the measurement and communication of business events and conditions as they affect the particular enterprise.  The task of accounting is to provide a detailed financial information that will be manageable and understandable about an enterprise.  Auditing does more of these things.

 

Auditing is the independent examination and expression of opinion on the financial statements of an enterprise by an appointed or employed auditor in pursuance of that appointment and in compliance with the relevant statutory obligation, hence the role of internal auditors in stock taking.  It involves critical and thorough investigation of the financial books prepared by the accountants as to whether those financial statement show a discipline department on logic and accounting is part of its utilities.

An auditor must exercise reasonable care and skill in carrying out his audit work of stock taking.

This was fully stated in the case of RE KINGSTON COTTON MILL (1896). This case considered the degree of care and skill required of an auditor.  It stipulated than an auditor is a watch dog and not a blood bound.  That, it is the duty of an auditor appointed to carry out the work of stock taking to ensure that skill, care and caution which a reasonable, competent, careful and cautious auditor will use has been applied in stock taking.  The auditor has to ensure in stock taking or physical verification of stock either by full count or measurement as incase of bulky stock taking that the stock taking with the bin card record.

Stocktaking could be done in three ways namely:

a.           Counting of stock at the end of the year, before the end of the year or after the end of the year

b.           Counting of the part of the stock by means of interpolating the total statistics and

c.           By means of using continuous stock records.

It should be known that where stock are materials in the enterprises financial statement and the auditor is placing reliance upon management stock-rate in order to provide evidence of existence, the auditor should attend the stock taking is normally the best way of providing evidence of proper functioning of the management stock taking procedure and also, the existence of stock and their conditions.

 

In the case of Re Kingston Cotton Mill Co., Ltd., it was decided in 1896 that it is not the duty of the auditor to take stock.  But the practice in the accountancy profession has been improved and as a matter of general practice, the auditor Is now required to:

a.           Review the stock records available

b.           Review the adequacy of the stock taking procedure

c.           Review the cut-off procedure

d.           Observe at least a part of the stock taking to ensure that the procedure laid down is being followed

e.           Compare the final stock sheet with the sheets used at stock taking to ensure that the quantities correspond

The auditor has to look into valuation of stock also to ensure the following:

i.      That the same method of valuation is adopted from one period to the other

ii.          That stock is valued at cost or realizable value which ever is lower and

iii.        That damaged or obsolete items are properly written down or written off as circumstances may dictate.

              1.1          STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS

The nature of the product of Total Nigeria limited particularly liquids like kerosene, petrol, diesel and oil made it very difficult to effectively conduct stock taking at a point in time and also to determine the extent to which internal auditors are involved.

The problem emanates from the fact that it is not easy to measure or determine the quantity of oil or gas, petrol or kerosene in the storage tanks, pumps etc.  This is because as ales are made, the tanks are refilled immediately.  This peculiar situation makes it very difficult for the internal auditor to reutilize the process of stock taking.

Another problem is that the enterprise has a single internal audit department which is not adequately staffed to carryout the routine internal audit functions not to talk of engaging actively in stock taking in the area offices and the various rattail outlet (services station) through out the country.

 

Finally, since sales are made through out the year, period for stock taking will be a problem.  This is because, before a stock taking will be carried out in the company, there must be a stock taking procedure where by there will be no purchases and sales of the company’s products for at least one or two days to enable the auditor and other staff concerned to carry out the stock taking properly and as needed.

1.2   PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The main purpose or objective of the  study is to determine whether persons in position of fiscal responsibility in government and limited liability companies like total Nigeria Limited do act and report in a trade fair manner.  This is because internal auditing is becoming increasingly important in large business enterprises where the owner can keep close personal contact with all the phases of his business.  He may not need an elaborate office or organization and extensive internal control.  But, such situation can be found only in a relating small establishment and not in a larger enterprise that comprises many people who customarily are not supervised directly by the owners. The ownership of such enterprise may be scattered widely and an individual who own little or has no proprietary interest will be employed to run the enterprise.  Separation of ownership from detailed supervision and even from the active management of an enterprise is a common phenomenon.

Such a situation present an urgent need for special safeguard to promote honesty and efficiency in the operation of the business and to ensure accuracy in the financial records hence internal auditing.

The purpose of this study is also to stress the importance for an organization to be aware of its stock position at all times since stock is as importance as cash in a business.  The research also wish to across how internal auditing of Total Nigeria Limited has improved management information system and the type of activities performed by the internal auditor.

1.3   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

It is believed that this study will not only be useful to the company where it is carried out but also to the companies that carry out the same type of business.  Not only that Total Nigeria Limited is a commercial oil company, there is need to know its internal auditing system and how it has helped the efficiency of the accounting records again, this study will add tot he advancement of knowledge in the field of internal auditing in the company to the future researchers in the area.  external auditors as well as internal auditors will benefit immensely from this work.

1.4   STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS

Hypothesis serve as guides for the  researcher in the entire process of research endeavour and also, trim the main line of his study. They assumed answer to the principal question of the study, the correctness of which the researcher assess I the course of this study.

Hypothesis are either proved or disproved, accepted or rejected, that depends on the future.  In order world, hypothesis interpose between a statement of the problem and the solution of the problem.

The importance of hypothesis to the course of this study are listed here under:

a.           Internal auditors recommendation as regards to stock taking is well carried out in Total Nigeria Limited

b.           That proper records of stock is not well carried out

c.           That proper accounting records are maintained for stock taking

d.           That effective internal auditing has enabled management to achieve its objective

e.           That effective internal auditing has not enabled management to achieve its objective.

1.5   SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The researcher wants to examine in detail the role of internal auditor in stock taking.

Although, the study reviewed the internal auditing in companies but the investigation carried out by the researcher covered only Total Nigeria Limited which was the case study of this research.

 

There was a plan by the researcher to administer questionnaires to all branches of total Nigeria Limited in the country but confined most of this to only few branches due to financial problems.

1.6   DEFINITION OF TERMS

In order to ensure proper and easy  understanding of what the study is all about to some people especially those that are not in the same discipline, some unfamiliar words used in the project are defined below.

INTERNAL AUDITING

This is the independent appraisal of the activities within an organization for review of accounting and other operations as the basis for service to management.  It is a management control which functions by measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of other controls.

 

In other words, internal auditing is an element of internal control system set up by the management of an enterprise to examine, evaluate and report on the operations of financial and management controls within the enterprise.

 

       

INTERNAL AUDITOR

Internal auditor is the person who performs the work of internal auditing.  He review the accounting system and other operations to ensure that they are in line with the need of the organization in relation to its operations.  He also review the organization’s internal control system and monitors the activities of the organization to ensure that they are in line with the systems set up and the controls that are in place.

       

INTERNAL CONTROL

This is the whole system of controls, financial and otherwise, established by the management in order to carry on the business of the enterprise in an orderly and efficient manner, ensure adherence to management policies, safeguard the asset and secure as far as possible the competence and accuracy of the records.

 

It is pertinent to mention that internal control comprises the whole system of financial and other controls set up and operating within a business.

STOCK TAKING

This is the counting and checking of prices and quantities of goods or items in the store by selected official of the company in order to know whether the physical numbers and prices tally with what was written in the cards.

       

BIN CARDS

These are cards that contain the description on a good or item, the receipts and issues of materials. It also help the stock keeper in controlling stock.

       

EXTERNAL AUDITOR

This is a person appointed to express opinion in accordance with the statutes and to report on the truthfulness and fairness of the accounts as presented by the director.  He is responsible tot he shareholders and the public but reports tot he shareholders of the company.

       

CALIBRATED CHART

This is an investment through which the capacity of a compartment of tank is know

 

VOUCHING APPROACH

The vouching approach is typified by checking and ticking the quantities of transaction document to ensure that they have been accurately recorded.

       

VERIFICATION APPROACH

This means direct verification of assets, liabilities, income, expenditures and other matters by the auditor.

 

SYSTEM APPROACH

This entails the system to audit which govern the control feature in order to determine the extent to which the objective of the system will be met.

JETTY

This is a wall or platform built out into the sea, river etc. where boats carrying petroleum product can be tied and where people can get on and of boats.

       

WATCH DOG

A person or group of people whose job is to check that companies are not doing anything illegal or ignoring people’s rights.  In this context, the term watch dog refers to internal auditor.

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