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Protection Of Motherboards And More Pty Ltd

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Question:

Discuss about the Protection of Motherboards and More Pty Ltd.’s Assets.
 
 

Answer:

Overview of the Revenue Cycle

The revenue cycle is initiated by the receipt of a customer’s order via the company’s website, email, or telephone; after which, a picking ticket is generated. Goods are then picked against the picking ticket and customers order and packed while generating a packing slip. It’s after this step that the goods are ready for delivery and a sales order is generated. The delivery goes along with a bill of lading. Invoicing then proceeds after the shipment of goods to the customer and according to the shipment details after which the firm recognizes a liability for the goods sold on credit. From here on, the cash collection begins where the customer may pay in cash or bank and according to the terms of trade where a discount of 2% is offered for any payment made within three days.  Amount received in cash is then deposited to the bank. While all this is happening, the shipping department also receives incoming deliveries from suppliers.  

Internal Control Weaknesses, their Impact, and Possible Solutions

Internal controls weaknesses

Impact of the weaknesses

Possible solution

Lack of segregation of duties:

Use of the loading dock for both the outgoing shipment to customers as well as incoming deliveries.

It increases the risk of fraud, intentional manipulation, unexpected error leading to loss of goods, and delays in delivery of goods to customers.

Besides, it weakens other control procedures such as physical checks.

The firm should implement different docks for receiving incoming deliveries and issuing outgoing shipment. This will enable a system of checks and balances where the two departments will check against each other and reduce the risk of fraud

Placing of orders without the authenticating (supporting) documents

Without legally binding source documents it’s impossible to defend a transaction. This has led to customers denying ordering and receiving goods since there exist no source documents to authenticate the orders.

The firm should implement a system where there has to exist physical source documents such as orders, delivery notes, and bills of lading. Such documents are legally binding and make it impossible for customers to deny deliveries made.

Delivering goods without an invoice.

That is, generating an invoice after shipment.

Customers receiving the goods without the delivery note and invoices have led to them denying receiving the goods later which has led to most of the credit sales being written off as uncollectible

All deliveries should be accompanied by both the delivery note and an invoice. The invoice should be generated after the packing according to the packing slip and before delivery.

Upon receipt of the goods, the customer should sign both the delivery note and the invoice which immediately creates a legally binding liability.

Lack of physical controls; Failure to take stock counts for two years

Failure to take stock counts have led to the loss of goods witnessed in the firm due to possible fraud and theft by the employees, failed deliveries, and delivery of the incorrect amount.

The stock is a very sensitive item must be well guarded (Mary, 2017). The firm should institute a policy where physical stock counts happen on a monthly basis or after a fortnight after which stock, suppliers’, and shipping details should be reconciled to check against any loss of stock.

Making all sales on credit with no precise credit sale policy

Credit terms increase the risk of bad debts.

The firm should consider selling some of the items on a cash basis or instituting a policy where a certain percentage of the invoice amount is paid either on order or delivery.

Overview of the Ransomware Attack

Described by  F-Secures' (a cybersecurity company) Chief Research Officer, Mikko Hypponen, as the biggest ransomware outbreak in history, the malware locked computers thus preventing access and demanded ransom from the victim if they were to gain back the access to the computers. The malware which spread to several computers across the world owed to a self-replicating software which took advantage of the vulnerabilities/weaknesses and bugs in the older version of Microsoft Windows and organizations using such widows found themselves the greatest victims (Moore and David, 2017). The most affected organizations were hospitals, large firms, and government agencies. The cyber extortionist duped their potential victims into opening the malware purportedly attached in their spam email as either orders or invoices. Several firms yielded to the trick and the extortionists' ransom demands although it remains unclear on how many firms did so.  

 

Appropriate Controls to protect the Firm from a Potential Ransomware Attack.

Application controls

Validity checks

 

Configurable controls

Such controls are defined at the system generation point

Completeness and validity checks

They check data being entered for validity and completeness (Moore and David, 2017)

Authentication controls

These controls provide an application system authentication mechanism

Input controls

They serve to ensure that data integrity feeds into the system only from upstream sources.

Forensic controls

They ensure scientifically correct data

General controls

Backup and recovery procedures

To ensure the firm’s operation run continuously

Integrity checks

Checking that email and other data come from secure sources

Encryption

Coding of the firm’s data to ensure they are unreadable by other sources

Physical access controls

To prevent unauthorized access to both the hardware and software including emails

Virus and malware scanning

Scanning the computers for malware which might cause loss of data

Firewall security

To protect the firm’s internet and data  from external threats

In-depth white-listing and blacklisting

Blocks unknown and unwanted applications and installation of apps from unknown sources

Compliance with internal IT policies

Such policies may limit usage of application not supported by data loss prevention

Conclusion and Recommendations

The internal control weaknesses of Motherboards and More Pty Ltd pose a huge risk of fraud and massive loss of revenue for the firm. As such, it is necessary to implement several internal controls to safeguard the firm's assets and deter fraud in the firm. Besides, given the alarming rise of cyber-attacks on organizations, it is advisable for the firm to implement several applications and general controls to prevent loss and corruption of its data in future.

 

References

Mary, A. (2017). “Impact of effective internal controls in the management of Mother and Child Hospital Akure, Ondo State”, Journal of Finance and Accounting 5 (1): 61-73

Moore, T., and David, P. (2017). “Special Issue: Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations”, Journal of Cybersecurity 3(1): 2057-2093

OR

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