ACCA P7考试：THE CONTROL ENVIRONMENT OF A COMPANY （六）
7 Human resources policies and practices
As explained in ISA 315, ‘human resource policies and practices demonstrate important matters in relation to the control consciousness of an entity’. This implies that if human resources policies and practices are considered to be sound both in design and in implementation over a range of matters, then the risk of material misstatement will be reduced.
Examples of these matters include:
Recruitment policies and procedures. These should ensure that only competent individuals with integrity are employed by the company. Interview procedures should ensure that only candidates meeting the company’s criteria for recruitment are engaged.
There should be adequate induction procedures for new employees, such that they can carry out their assigned responsibilities effectively and efficiently soon after being engaged by the company.
Employees should be provided with ongoing training, support and mentoring as appropriate, such that they can continue to carry out their assigned responsibilities effectively and efficiently.
There should be regular formal appraisal, at least annually of an employee’s performance. Performance should be measured against standardised criteria authorised by senior management of the company, and there should be ongoing monitoring and feedback to employees about their performance and development needs. ?
The company should employ comprehensive and transparent employment grievance procedures, such that employees can be confident that grievances will be dealt with openly and impartially.
There should be open, transparent and equitable employee disciplinary procedures, such that employees can be confident they will not be treated unfairly by the company in the event that an action triggers its disciplinary process.
Employment termination procedures should incorporate provision for an exit interview so that the reason for the termination can be confirmed or clarified, all emoluments due to the employee can be settled and arrangements can be made for the return of all company assets prior to the termination date.
While each of the above measures will have a positive impact on the internal control of a company, to some extent they all have the effect of reducing the risk of material misstatement in the financial statements. For example, the existence of fair and robust grievance and disciplinary procedures reduce the possibility of a successful claim against the company for constructive or unfair dismissal, and the absence of a material provision in this respect. Significantly, the existence of human resources policies and practices that are the same or similar to those above should leave a favourable impression with the auditor, as to the directors’ attitude toward their company’s workforce. It is likely that such an attitude would foster good working relationships with employees, leading to an increased likelihood that individuals would reciprocate by carrying out their tasks diligently with integrity in the best interests of the company – resulting in a reduced risk of material misstatement.