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The role and importance of internal control in an organization

Describe the Importance of Internal Control in Business

Describe the Importance of Internal Control in Business by Osmond Vitez - Updated September 26, 2017 Internal controls are the standards and rules used by companies to ensure that they achieve their stated goals in the marketplace.

Profitability is not only achieved through high sales and meeting consumer demand, but also from controlling costs and limiting excessive spending.

  1. The strength of each system directly affects the financial success of a business entity.
  2. Successful communication and information ranges from sophisticated computer technology to regularly held staff meetings. For instance, passwords are placed on computer programs to prevent unauthorized access.
  3. This might include giving each employee his own password to access files and data on the company's computer, or creating a system for filing client data and financial documents, online or offline.

Management should on a regular basis review all aspects of their company and insert internal controls that will strengthen the company and increase profitability. Operating Environment Internal controls help promote strong daily operations that produce high-quality goods and services at the lowest cost possible. Limiting excessive inventory, high equipment costs, and excessive utilities ensure that operational costs are maintained within a reasonable budget.

  • Monitoring involves evaluating the performance of employees and is accomplished by completing self-assessments or peer reviews;
  • The act requires that public companies, small and large, include details on the company's internal controls inside of their annual reports;
  • Risk Assessment Risk assessment is an important internal control;
  • Video of the Day Brought to you by Techwalla Brought to you by Techwalla Company Policies Companies use policies to ensure a safe and profitable business environment.

Managers ensure that as goods and services are produced, machines or other equipment are properly used so any malfunctions can be avoided. Improperly using company assets can create downtime if goods have to be re-produced because of product defects.

  • Separation of Duties Internal controls separate the duties employees have, ensuring that there's a system of checks and balances;
  • Considerations Failure to establish a system of internal control indicates a lack of direction for an entity;
  • For instance, passwords are placed on computer programs to prevent unauthorized access.

Risk Assessment Risk assessment is an important internal control. Every business decision comes with a certain amount of risk; avoiding or mitigating this risk is achieved through strong internal controls. Controls that mitigate risk could include capping the levels of debt used to finance operations or acquisitions, ensuring reinvestment of cash into the business, or guidelines to avoid risky securities when generating cash from investment activities.

These types of internal controls prevent executive management from making potentially dangerous decisions that would have long-term effects on a company.

What Is the Purpose of Internal Controls of a Company?

Video of the Day Brought to you by Techwalla Brought to you by Techwalla Company Policies Companies use policies to ensure a safe and profitable business environment. These policies are internal controls that help management in areas including human resources, community awareness, and business-to-business relations.

  • Management should on a regular basis review all aspects of their company and insert internal controls that will strengthen the company and increase profitability;
  • Monitoring involves evaluating the performance of employees and is accomplished by completing self-assessments or peer reviews;
  • Internal controls can include activities such as reconciling bank statements and internal audit reviews, which can uncover whether the company's money is being misappropriated by management or employees;
  • Control activities help to reduce and manage risk in an organization.

Publicly held companies have strong internal control policies to assure that investors are not improperly influenced by informal communications outside normal company standards. Financial Information The most important internal controls usually preside over the financial information of a company. Improperly reporting financial information is considered fraud and will quickly cause problems.

Companies usually develop internal controls for financial information and then test them periodically to ensure that they are adequate safeguards.

Purpose of Internal Control

Publicly held companies are required to have outside auditors test their internal controls as part of the federal Sarbanes-Oxley regulations passed in 2002.

Performance Measurements Many companies link internal controls to performance evaluations for mid-level managers and other employees.

This style of performance evaluation allows companies an opportunity to educate and review internal controls with employees on a regular basis. This teaches employees the value of achieving goals through following company policy, ensuring higher profitability for the company.