Download a company annual report which is listed in ASX and must be present in ASX S&P 300 index, along with this annual report, student should download corporate statement of same company. Report should focus on ASX CGS Principles and Risk Assessment Procedures.
Background of Wesfarmers
Wesfarmers is one of the biggest business houses in Australia. The company has made its presence across a variety of business sectors and segments, making itself a highly diversified company. Some areas of their business presence includes hotel industry, supermarkets and departmental stores, liquors, coal, fertilisers, chemicals and home improvement. Founded in the year 1914, the company has managed to carve a place for itself in the list of the top companies of the world. Since wesfarmers is a listed company , it is required to comply with the rules, regulations and policies framed by the regulatory authority, i.e. The Australian Securities Exchange. It also needs to ensure that the principles with regard to corporate governance are properly met and followed. The business objective of wesfarmers is to create wealth for its shareholders by ensuring a good return on their investments. In order to make sure that such an objective is achieved, the company continuously strives to gain a competitive edge over its competitors. This is done by contributing to the upliftment of the countries in which the company has business presence, by providing a safe working environment, by indulging in the preservation of the environment and by placing utmost importance on the values of honesty and integrity.Analysis
ASG Principles and its significance for the company
Corporate governance is the set of policies and practices, which a company or an entity adopts and implements to make sure that it balances the needs of all its stakeholders, including but not limited to, shareholders,investors,management, suppliers of inputs, creditors, customers and government authorities. It gives the company its essential character, in the absence of a good corporate governance, the company cannot continue to function for long. A bad corporate governance will bring with itself huge financial implications and may even lead to the corporate death of the company. The performance of Wesfarmers, if evaluated on the parameter of corporate governance, is quite commendable. We will be discussing it further.
- The company has a solid management committee that oversees the affairs of the company and ensures that those affairs and operations are in consistence with the principles of corporate governance. The responsibility area and the level of authority granted to each director or managerial personnel is properly defined. There is no overlapping of duties. This helps them in proper discharge of their duties, free from biasedness or undue advantages. There isn't any likelihood or occurrence of conflict of interests and the directors exercise complete independence.
- The members of the board come from different knowledge areas. They have professional expertise in a variety of field and subject matters like financial acumen, retail, international relations, risk management, banking, customer relations, e commerce and capital markets. They have different experiences, skills and competencies, the combined effect of which takes the company to newer heights and creates brand value. This also gives an assurance that the resources of the company will be utilised in the best possible manner.
- Wesfarmers have a very effective code of conduct in place, which everybody in the company abides by. The employees know what they are expected to do, how are they required to behave and they act accordingly They give a lot of consideration on values of integrity and accountability. The operations and the decisions of the company are kept as transparent as possible. The Board has the practice to review these policies at regular intervals so that standards are met and expected behaviour is guaranteed. It even has a strong whistleblower policy in place.
- The company gets its financial statements audited as per the regulatory requirements and the reports establishes the fact that the records are true and fair. It confirms that the affairs of the business are ethical and morally sound.
- All the matters, material to the financial statements have been disclosed in a proper manner. The notes give details about the accounting policies and principles that have been applied. It is also seen that these principles have been applied in a consistent manner and these are not something that is changed or modified on a frequent basis. The investors get information about all the matters and everything is kept very open, transparent and clear. The internal controls are quite strong and the Audit and risk Committee work tirelessly to maintain the desired level of integrity.
- The shareholders and the investors are encouraged to take part in the activities of the company and also in the decision making process. They are given access to up to date information. Shareholders are also given opportunities to engage themselves in the communication process.
- The Wesfarmers board of directors make it a point to annually review the risk assessment framework. This gives them an idea about the strengths and weaknesses of the system, and the changes that needs to be made, in the light of the changing business situation. For this the company does a lot of activities like carrying out due diligence at all levels, across all divisions. They also have a group compliance reporting program where a lot of areas is covered including legal, environment, compliance, taxation and information technology.
- The remuneration policies are very fair so that the expectations of the workforce is fairly met. The senior executives , as a part of their salary package have a variable factor or a risk factor associated with their yearly remuneration. The incentives or the increments extended towards the employees or the executives are based upon their achievements and work performance. At the year end, the performance is appraised and training programs are formulated to ensure the growth and development of the business and the executive. The company gives fair amount of remuneration to all the people who work there. Being such a give company with such a strong database, the remuneration needs to be fair so that people are satisfied with what they receive and there is less competition among the employees. There is no biasness on part of the management in this regards and they ensure a fair approach.
Risk Assessment Analysis
Risk assessment is vital for the continuity and for the success of any business. It is that function that helps the entity in identifying the areas where there exists a potential threat. Risk assessment also tells the company that risks that the company should expect to arise in the future. Based on the outcome and forecast of risk assessment process, the company develops a response so that losses are reduced to the minimum. Risk assessment is not a one time exercise, it is an ongoing process where the business environment is continuously scanned to bring out the areas of weaknesses or danger. It should be done at regular intervals so that the company is up to date with the happenings in the business world and is ready to face new challenges. It helps to find whether the financial statements are materially correct or not and whether they provide a true fair of the company affairs and results. Risk assessment is a series of steps, to be followed systematically and in a particular order.
Wesfarmers' Presence in Diversified Business Segments
Retail market is one of the most unpredictable and dynamic market. The needs and preferences of the customers change quite fast. What becomes favourable today becomes unfavourable tomorrow. It therefore becomes very important for the company to have proper controls in place to identify risk. Controls to maintain their competitiveness and controls that help them create brand value and recognition. In recent days, with increase access and reliance on the information available on the internet, particularly the social media, data integrity has come up as another issue. Maintaining the integrity and authenticity of data, preventing its misuse and controlling data leakage has become a very daunting task.it also demands a lot of resources, in terms of money, effort and time, to be engaged. The company needs to adopt proper, effective and efficient security measures that will help them with protection of sensitive data and information. These security measures should be planned after giving due consideration to the size of the company and the volume of data.
In the particular case of Wesfarmers, the company has adopted strong and concrete measures like analysis with the aid of information technology and related tools and techniques ,secured payment gateways, regular and frequent audit of the control system to ensure that the risks are kept below the threshold limit. Not all risks are the same and therefore the response also differs. At first the company should try to avoid the risks. Thereafter it should try to reduce or mitigate the risks. At the end the risks which cannot be avoided or treated should be managed well.
The company also focuses on specific audit procedures, both substantive and appropriate that would help in determining the areas of improvement and areas which need special consideration for better performance in the long run. It also acts as a check on the behaviour of the employees and noting deviations and discrepancies, if any. Fraud and errors become easy to detect. Keeping the above mentioned requirements in mind, it is good for the company to invest in creating a highly skilled and competent Internal audit team. This team should be given all the resources that enables them to carry out their duties efficiently. (Heuvel & Wagelman, 2017). It will also keep a watch on the acts of the management or those charged with governance. Duties needs to be properly segregated amongst all the officials. In the event of any confusion or any issue the management may opt for help from experts who have special knowledge and professional experience in that specific field. These experts will provide ample guidance to the management and help them make a better decision with respect to assessing and managing the risk level(Elimam, 2017).
The purpose of using analytical procedures in the risk assessment phase is to enhance and uplift the company’s understanding of the existing and potential risks by examining unusual transactions or unexpected balances or unreasonable relationships in the available data. Some of the analytical procedures used in the assessment of risk includes Account balance comparison., studying the trends, calculating and analysing the significant ratios, comparison of trial balances ,unadjusted with adjusted ones, regression analysis. All this will help to ascertain that the risk levels are minimum for the company and the company is making good progress with their overall financial status and culture for the company.
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Wesfarmers.com.au. (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.wesfarmers.com.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/2017-annual-report.pdf?sfvrsn=0 [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].
Url : https://www.wesfarmers.com.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/2017-annual-report.pdf?sfvrsn=
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