INTERNAL AUDIT AS A TOOL IN ACHIEVING THE ORGANISATIONAL OBJECTIVES (a case study of Mainstreet bank of Nigeria plc)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The system of controls adopted in any economy greatly determines the development and growth of that economy. To ensure optimization in money, materials, machine, time, resources and management of men, controls are essential.
These controls are installed by many organisations including banks to check how effective and efficient they maximize their resources. One of such controls commonly used to minimize wastage and guide plan to their eventual accomplishment is “INTERNAL AUDITING”.
Auditing has been in existence for many years, it was in ancient Egypt and the great mercantile establishment of the middle ages. This shows that internal auditing can neither be neglected nor under rated in our modern economy for it was borne of the complexities of modern business dominate and transactions involved. In that, other management of various large businesses, organisations and government concern recognised internal auditing as valuable machinery and achieving and objective deemed accurate at a point in time.
The term “Audit” is from a Latin word “Audire” which means “Hears”. This is because the accounts of an estate domain were checked by having them called out of these who completed them to those in authority. With the growth of trade and commerce the need for more accurate methods of recording business activities arose. Auditing is a process whereby the books of account and vouchers of business entities (including charity users/trusts) are subjected to critical examinations by professionally qualified and independent account (Auditors) on such a detail will enable them from an option as to their truth and fairness. The auditing is the bridge across the credibility gap created by the separation of management from ownership.
The complexities of the art of management extends to increasing ware of business fraud, embezzlement and the cash squeeze which often cripple many companies. The management has to look inward in order to uphold the space of activities and keep abreast with the changes in their immediate and external environment, and this can only be achieved as good and effective internal control system of which internal auditing is a major section. A writer maintained that the existence of an efficient and effective system of internal control both in design and operation which is the responsibility of management with the best to prevent fraud or at worst help to detect such fraud at the earliest opportunity.
It is a function carried out by an independent staff in audit department with the sole aim of reporting on fairness and truly of financial statement. However since the internal auditors are employee of the firm or the establishment concern, independence is not always achieved.
The comprehensive courage of an internal audit upon several factors, a general rule is that department should of course have as much freedom as possible without interference from the management. In such circumstances; the internal auditors will have a greatly enhanced share in recommending new and concluding investigations where appropriate. The terms of reference should be defined as lack of this may lead the department and those in another.
To avert this ugly incident and ensure greater coverage during investigations, management issues guidelines to heads of divisions to always make necessary documents/records/files available to audit staff as may be demanded by them while performing their duties. A proper audit work should be able to:
i). Review the accounting systems as related to internal control.
2). Examine the economy or review the economy efficiency and effectiveness of operation.
3). Examine financial and operating information for management
4). Review the implementation of cooperate policy plans and procedures.
5). Assist in implementation of new accounting system
6). Providing a training ground for both financial general management personnel.
Internal audit functions can help to spot out differences in systems, so as to evolve corrective measures at the earliest opportunities. Internal auditors appraise, analyse and report upon the policies and methods employed in the bank.
The duties of internal auditors to the general performance of the whole organisation cannot qualify; maintain a good internal control system maintained by qualified chartered accountants.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Internal control system may be insufficient based on some predicament. These may include lack of segregation and assignments of duties of accounting staff. Also the scopes of duties of internal audit unit are so wide and their scales of operations so low as well as the shortage of qualified staff to carry out internal auditing and accounting duties.
Independence of accounting officer can easily be influenced by management which can affect the internal audit system of an organisation clearly defines as a result of two or more dishonest staff can collide to override the efficiency of the internal control system. The criticism of internal control system has been extended to the banking industry hence the study of internal audit as a tool for effective management.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
Internal audit is a tool, procedure, way to helping organisations achieve their set goals or objectives. The main objective of the study is to examine the effectiveness of internal audit in an organisation.
Other objectives of this study are as follows:
1). To show how internal audit assist in management operations.
2). To show how organisational hierarchy has influenced internal audit department.
3). To ascertain how internal audit department is a base to achieving value for money audit.
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