Monday, December 4, 2017

Unapproved Audit Observations - Part 1

My life revolves around visiting client sites ever so often with my visiting cards in the inside breast pocket of my blazer – almost like a CID pocket shield that I flash on the accountant’s terrified face and post one slap across his skull, having him spurt why he booked a capital expense as revenue.

The adventure mostly ends with micro-management of the articled assistant, correcting his draft of the report for want of 1.15 pt line spacing and justified text alignment. To add to my misery is the stuff that gets edited out from the report by Senior Partner of Sandeep Ahuja & Co.

Here’s taking a leaf out of my book – quite literally – and putting it where at least someone would read and appreciate. Here’s observation #1. True life story.

***


Client Name: Confidential
Branch under review: Unnamed District, Jharkhand
Period covered under audit: Quarter 2, Financial Year 2017-18
Scope: Review of Internal Control Systems
Audit Lead: CA Sarthak Ahuja

Observation: During the course of physical verification of fixed assets installed at the office premises, the Audit Lead observed that the plastic seat on the commode was rickety. Efficiency in the working of the asset was tested through a sampling exercise of sitting on the porcelain rim by putting up the plastic seat in a vertical position against the cistern at the back.

Overlooking the aspect of the rim being too cold, severe doubts on the functioning of the asset arose when on turning on the knob for the water jet, a cold stream of water flowed onto the head of the Audit Lead, almost trickling down his back from the collar above.

Cause: On in-depth examination, it was found that the design of the water jet is flawed, whereby the flexible hose through which the water travels into the jet was attached to the bottom of the backside of the plastic rim, as illustrated in Figure 1 and 2.

Effect: An adverse observation has been recorded due to the following reasons:

- The asset not just has a worn out plastic rim that does not stay firm when put down, but the water jet installation is design inefficient;

- The asset led to the auditor’s clothes having drenched in water, especially down the spine of the shirt, making it almost impossible to rationally explain the cause on his way out to the auditee staff. The lack of a shower system in the premises further limited the possible causes that could be used to explain the wetness.

- A trickle or two during accidental excretion of bodily fluids onto the official attire can be explained by an uncontrolled flow of the water tap in the wash basin, especially if the subject purposely splatters water onto his shirt, all the way down to his waist, in an attempt to explain such an incident. However, a trickle down one’s spine is an inexplicable situation adding to the subject’s embarrassment and lack of willingness to live.

Impact: High. The incident explains how if any of the auditee staff members were to accidentally experience the result of such a shortcoming in the installed fixed asset, it would lead to not only loss in morale of the employees, adversely impacting the working efficiency of the human resource, but may also lead to high employee attrition and turnover.

Management Response: The issue was not discussed with the Management at the time of debriefing due to the sensitive nature of the observation – open communication of which may have led to severe consequences such as a reduction in the authority commanded by the audit exercise. Thus, management response is sought through the medium of this report and may be obtained in the form of an Action Taken Report, the format of which is appended herewith.

Recommendation: It is recommended that the fixed asset be replaced at the earliest, with a more design efficient system be installed, such as a health faucet, which is in line with modern day practices of maintaining hygiene at the workplace.

It was also observed that the fixed asset was neither recorded in the Fixed Assets Register, nor bore any sticker signifying the fixed asset number. This would need immediate redressal as negligence in non-recording of an asset in the said register may lead to theft of the asset, which would also skip the notice of the team conducting physical verification of fixed assets.

Thereafter, the cost of the asset newly installed should be added to the gross block and depreciation be charged at applicable rates as prescribed under the relevant schedule of the Companies Act, 2013 as well as under the Income Tax Act, 1961, for respective purposes.  

Thanking you.
Yours sincerely,

CA Sarthak Ahuja
Partner

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If you had 5 Jalebis, how many would you give me for writing this post?

None = You don't deserve any >:O
@ = Soggy and stale! :(
@@ = Stale! :|
@@@ = I'll need a samosa to digest this with! :P
@@@@ = Sweet and Crisp! :)
@@@@@ = I'm opening you a Halwai Shop! :D