Sam and John Smith are two brothers who run their father’s 20-year-old business “Smith Brothers Auto Solutions”. They have two divisions in their business. Sam looks after the workshop, where they service new and used cars. The second division of business is retail of automotive parts, which is managed by John. The retail shop is located just 20 minutes away from car service workshop. Both sites are located in the Sunshine suburb of Melbourne. From the last two-three years their business has been growing at a very fast pace.
Their business continues to use traditional means of reporting and heavily relies on a paper based reporting mechanism. However, as the business is expanding fast it is becoming difficult to keep up with the pace of reporting requirements, the need of timely information primarily in relation to costing, and pricing and sales revenue for their business. Julia Ryan is their bookkeeper who spends a considerable amount of time just maintaining the books and journalising transactions in a traditional way. A number of payments to suppliers are delayed and payments from customers are not received by due date. On some occasions customers do not make payment and Smith Brothers are not able to chase all overdue payments in a timely manner due to using the traditional recording and reporting mechanism. In the last couple of years the business’s revenue has grown by more than 80%, which has led to an increase in many expenses and other costs. Smith Brothers are facing cash flow issues and are finding it hard to maintain reputation of reliable operators.
Julia advised Smith Brothers that they needed to improve their accounting systems, and not using computerised accounting software was one of the issues.
Select any publicly listed Australian company and find the latest annual report on the company’s website and summarise the IT governance policy. You are required to answer the following questions:
Conduct a web search for some examples of companies/organisations where internal controls have failed to operate effectively. You can also look at some of the corporate collapses including failures of any banking institutions. Examples can also be a non-profit organisation such as football club or hospital etc. Your selected case would have received media publicity or there would have been some government investigation.
For the cases you have identified, answer the following questions:
(a) What factors led to the failure of these controls?
(b) Could the failure have been avoided? If so, how?
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