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ACC200 Accounting Systems: Case Study of Strings Pty Ltd

Strings Pty Ltd

Overview of the Revenue Cycle from the CFO

Strings Pty Ltd (Strings) is a medium size, privately owned, Australian enterprise. They manufacture musical instruments and the parts required for their repair. Strings are the key supplier to music retailers and repairers across Australia. Strings is 12 years old and uses an integrated ERP system. The administrative offices are on the outskirts of town with the production, shipping, and receiving departments located just a few block away.

Customers place orders on the company’s website, via email, or by telephone. Due to a renewed interest in music, this year sales have increased significantly. All sales are on credit, with 17% of credit sales in the last 12 months needing to be written off as uncollectible. This included several large online orders to first-time customers who denied ordering or receiving the merchandise.

Customer orders are picked and sent to the warehouse, where they are placed near the loading dock in alphabetical sequence by customer name. The loading dock is used both for outgoing shipments to customers as well as receiving incoming deliveries. There are ten to twenty incoming deliveries every day, from a large number of sources.

The increased volume of sales orders has resulted in a large number of errors where customers have been sent the wrong items. There have also been delays in shipping as items that supposedly were in stock could not be found in the warehouse. Although a perpetual inventory is maintained, there has been no physical count of inventory for over two years. When an item is missing, the warehouse staff notes the information down in a log book. At the end of the week, the warehouse staff uses the log book to update the inventory records.

The system is configured to prepare the sales invoice only after shipping employees enter the actual quantities sent to a customer, thereby ensuring that customers are billed only for items actually sent and not for anything on back order. Terms of trade are payment within 21 days of invoicing, with a 2% discount offered for payments made within 5 days. Approximately 50% of Strings long standing repeat customers pay within the 5 days.

Question 1. Risks and Controls

The CFO at Strings Pty Ltd (Strings) was impressed by the systems documentation you prepared for Assessment Item 2 and would like to engage you to provide some assistance in improving their Revenue Cycle, focussing only on the processes from order to invoicing.

Using the information provided to you by the CFO for Assessment Item 2, prepare a business report addressing:

What are the the internal control weaknesses in Strings Revenue Cycle?
What are the potential impacts of these weaknesses on the organisation?
What specific internal controls could be implemented by Strings in the coming weeks to mitigate the risks posed by the internal control weaknesses you have identified. Your CFO does not want theoretical controls suggested. He wants practical controls that they can implement within the organisation in the coming weeks.

Question 2. Systems Development Lifecycle

The project to implement the Queensland Health Payroll System (2007-2011) is often considered to be one of the largest systems implementation failures in Australia.

Using the Systems Development Lifecycle process (figure 19.1 on page 612 of the Romney text) as a guide, identify 5 deficiencies in the Queensland Health Payroll System project, and provide recommendations on how these deficiencies may be overcome in future projects.

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