ACCA P7考试：THE CONTROL ENVIRONMENT OF A COMPANY （二）
1 Communication and enforcement of integrity and ethical values
Many companies have high values and seek to promote honesty and integrity among their employees on a day-to-day basis. Clearly, if it is evident that such values do exist and are communicated effectively to employees and enforced, this will have the effect of increasing confidence in the design, administration and monitoring of controls – leading to a reduced risk of material misstatement in a company’s financial statements. For example, where a company adopts comprehensive anti-bribery and corruption policies and procedures with regard to contract tendering, and has formal employee notification and checking practices in this regard, it follows that there is reduced risk of material misstatement due to the omission of provisions for fines for the non-compliance with relevant laws and regulations. Alternatively, the existence in a company of comprehensive and ethical procedures with regard to the granting of credit facilities to customers and the pursuance of payment of for goods and services supplied, together with regular supervisory control in this respect, is likely to lead to increased audit confidence in the trade receivables area. This is because the existence of a system allowing goods and services to be a supplied on credit to customers provides the opportunity for fraud to be perpetrated against the company by employees and customers, particularly if controls are deficient in terms of their design or implementation.
2 Commitment to competence
Competence is the knowledge and skills necessary to accomplish tasks that define the individual’s job. It is self-evident that if individual employees are tasked with carrying out duties that are beyond their competence levels, then desired objectives are unlikely to be met. For example, there is an increased probability that the objective of avoiding material misstatement in a set of complex financial statements will not be met if prepared by an inexperienced company accountant. This is simply due to the inexperience (translating to a lower competence level) of the accountant. From this, it follows that the auditor will have increased confidence in internal control relevant to the audit, where management have taken measures to ensure employees who participate in internal control are competent to carry out relevant tasks effectively. Measures taken by management in this regard can cover a range of activity including for example, rigorous technical and aptitude testing at the employee recruitment stage and in-house or external training courses and mentoring from more senior colleagues