Review and evaluate the accounting system
This review can be of the complete system or of one or more of the accounting functions, depending on your findings – but must specifically cover the following points:
Record keeping systems – explain the purpose of financial reports, and the suitability of the organisation’s current reports to meet organisational needs
Internal systems of control – identify how internal control supports the accounting system and the types of internal control in place, and any controls that are missing
Fraud – explain the causes of fraud, common types of fraud, methods that can be used to detect fraud and potential areas for fraud within the organisation
Working methods/practices – review the working methods used including the use of appropriate computer software, and the operating methods in terms of reliability, speed and cost effectiveness
Training – Identify how training is or can be used to support staff.
The review should cover all aspects of the assessment criteria, as mapped above, when it can naturally be introduced into the report. If it cannot be covered in the report then it can be covered within a written explanation included in the appendix.
Whilst a SWOT analysis may be a good starting place, this should not be placed in the body of the report.
Conduct an ethical evaluation of the accounting systems.
Evaluate the accounting systems against ethical principles by reviewing working practices.
Identify any actual or possible breaches of professional ethics.
To help you with this see http://www.aat.org.uk/sites/default/files/assets/AAT_Code_of_Professional_Ethics.pdf
Conduct a sustainability evaluation of the accounting systems.
Evaluate the accounting systems against sustainability principles by reviewing working practices.
Identify any possible improvements that could be made to improve sustainability.
Identify weaknesses and make recommendations for improvement.
Evaluate the system to identify significant weaknesses, which should be clearly explained along with their impact upon the organisation.
For every weakness that has been identified there should be one or more recommendations made to attempt to improve the situation.
The recommendations should concentrate on the effect that the changes would have both on the organisation and on individual members of staff. They may also highlight:
aids to improve staff performance;
changes needed to organisational culture;
anything else which would improve the running of the accounting system.
Prepare a Cost Benefit Analysis
At least one of the recommendations made should be subject to a cost benefit analysis. Whilst not all benefits are quantifiable, all costs are. Students should make any necessary assumptions or estimates to allocate costs to such items as time, unknown salaries, or any other unknown expense involved in the recommended changes. All benefits should be identified, included those that cannot be allocated a financial figure. This can include such things as improved customer relationships, improved documentation systems or staff morale (though this could be allocated a financial figure as improving staff turnover cuts recruitment costs).
Note on appendices
Any charts and diagrams or supporting evidence should be included here and cross-referenced within the text. Any appendices included should be referred to in the main body of the report or, in the case of supporting statements to cover missing assessment criteria, be mapped and cross-referenced on the mapping document.