ACCA F8 考试：THE AUDIT OF WAGES (Part 2)
STAGES IN A WAGES SYSTEM
Five stages are shown below and typical controls identified are linked to relevant control objectives.
(i) Setting up master file data
Robust recruitment procedures are required before new employees are entered on the wages master file. Interviews should be undertaken involving senior staff to ensure the new employee has the required skills. New starters’ forms should be completed in the human resources (HR) department and copies retained along with contracts of employment. Changes to standing data on the master file should be performed by staff who are independent of processing payroll. The wages master file contains all the standing data about employees, such as name, address, date of birth, date of starting employment, employee number, rate of pay and tax code.
? Changes to master file data such as rates of pay and new starters/leavers should be supported by forms approved by a senior responsible official. (Control objectives 2 and 4)
? Access to the master file should require a responsible official’s password and a log of standing data amendments should be produced and reviewed. (Control objectives 2, 3 and 4)
? An independent check should be performed of standing data amendments log to supporting documentation. (Control objectives 2, 3 and 4)
(ii) Recording wages due
Clock cards are often used to record the hours that employees enter and leave the premises. Modern equivalents would include employee ID cards which are swiped by an electronic card reader. In this scenario employees are paid based on hours worked. If employees are paid in accordance with work completed job cards may take the place of clock cards.
? Supervision of clocking on points and control over blank clock cards (or employee ID cards) are essential. (Control objective 1 )
? Clock cards should be authorised by a responsible official before they are sent to the payroll departments. (Control objectives 1 and 3)
? HR department should keep blank clock cards or ID cards, which are only issued for new employees with contracts of employment. (Control objective 2)
(iii) Calculation of wages
Hours worked should be converted to a gross wage by reference to the employees hourly rate of pay and deductions such as payroll taxes are made to calculate net pay. Software is normally used to produce the weekly payroll and calculation errors are less likely than with manual systems. Gross wages should be based on a standard working week (for example, 40 hours ) and if overtime has been worked this should be picked up from the clock card. However, in some systems, authorised lists of overtime worked during the week are entered so that the revised gross wage can be calculated.
? Overtime forms/ listings should be reviewed and authorised by responsible managers before input to the system. (Control objectives 1 and 3)
? Software controls should include data validation (edit) checks on the data fields included on transactions, and include reasonableness, existence, range and character checks. Error reports should be produced which list rejected items– for example, employee numbers entered that do not exist. Also exception reports should list transactions that have been processed but which exceed certain pre-determined limits– for example, employees earning more than $2,000 per week or those who worked more than 30 hours of overtime. It is very important that both reports are investigated closely and if necessary data corrected and re-input. (Control objectives 2 and 4).
? A sample of payroll calculations should be checked by senior responsible official and the payroll initialled. (Control objective 5)
(iv) Payment of wages
As indicated earlier employees should either be paid in cash or by bank transfer. In the case of cash a cheque should be signed, preferably by two senior responsible officials (normally directors in small companies). Once collected from the bank the cash should be included in pay packets with payroll slips for subsequent distribution to employees.
? The payroll should be reviewed by a senior responsible official before the payroll cheque is signed. If employees are paid by bank transfer, the list should be authorised before being sent to the bank. (Control objectives 2 and 3)
? Two individuals independent of the processing of wages should be involved in the make up of pay packets and during the wages payout. (Control objective 2)
? Employees’ signatures should be required when wages are collected, as evidence of receipt. If employees are absent their wages packets should be entered in an uncollected wages book and returned to a safe under the control of an independent responsible official (eg the cashier). There should be a requirement for formal identification procedures to be carried out on the subsequent collection of wage packets. (Control objective 2)