Accounting 201 Writing Assignments
ü Discussion week 1: Foundations of Financial Accounting
Instructions: Briefly describe your current or aspiring professional identity, including the field in which you work or hope to work. To what extent does (or will) financial accounting play a role in your day-to-day professional life?
My name is Carrie Hogue and I reside in New Castle, PA. I work as a secretary at The Bair Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides foster care, respite care, and foster-to-adopt families for children and teenagers. When I am not preoccupied with working, school assignments, or attempting to build a business, I enjoy making lists, organizing anything and everything, catching up on my favorite shows, and my absolute favorite, traveling. I have been to Paris (My favorite), Pisa, Rome, Venice, Florence, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, New York, Tennessee, Connecticut, and Canada. I plan to visit Greece and go back to Paris for my ‘Congratulations you did it/Graduation trip’ once I earn my bachelor’s degree. In the next ten years, I have high aspirations to visit Maine, New Mexico, Norway, Ireland, Germany, and Bora Bora.
A couple of years ago I discovered an interest in making jewelry. This hobby started out as a creative past time making custom-made pieces for my wardrobe that quickly grew into a side business. I gave a few friends a custom-made piece of jewelry for their birthday, and people started to inquire about pricing to have their own jewelry pieces. A few locally owned shops (a florist, an accessory boutique, a tanning salon, and a local spa) contacted me and requested wholesale pricing that led to a wonderful business relationship. I still do business with them as a wholesaler, but unfortunately, due to the tragic loss of a friend last March, and my husband breaking his right hand (which is his dominant hand) last December, I have not been able to accomplish much with my new side-business. Now that my husband’s surgery from January is over, and he is progressing through physical therapy, I am ready to get back to steady days of normal emotions and focus on building my business. In addition to growing my side business, I have a notebook full of other business venture ideas that I desire to pursue.
I am currently in my 5th term here at SNHU, earning my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. Even though I struggle with anxiety each time a new term commences, I force myself to look over the coursework and find 2-5 things from the course content that I can utilize in my future. This is my way of combatting the negative vibe of anxiety and creating a positive vibe of excitement. As I glanced over the e-book chapter readings, each chapter had valuable knowledge that I will need to fully function as an entrepreneur and successful business owner. I noticed we will cover topics such as creating journal entries, preparing financial statements, creating a detailed perpetual and periodic inventory system, what constitutes the classification of receivables and learning about patents, trademarks, copyrights, assets, and liabilities. I am excited to learn everything I possibly can from this course as it will play a pivotal role in my future as an entrepreneur and business owner. It will be imperative to understand and know how to keep track of the financial transactions by creating journal entries, preparing financial statements, creating a detailed perpetual and periodic inventory system, etc.
I am excited to start my 5th term, and I look forward to a successful and FUN eight weeks with each of you!
ü Discussion week 4: Internal Controls Over Assets
Instructions: Companies lose millions of dollars each year through employee theft and fraud. To prevent this, internal controls are implemented. We will examine the types of controls companies use, and discuss what happens when these controls are missing.
Consider this scenario: You own a small business with 25 employees. In your initial post, explain which internal controls you would use to protect your assets and ensure that your financial statements are accurate.
In your responses to your peers, critique their internal control proposals and provide constructive suggestions for improving them. What aspects or risks might they have overlooked? What would you suggest to make their proposals more effective and feasible?
Here we are at week 4. Can you believe we are at our halfway mark this term?
This week in our chapter readings we were introduced to the five elements of internal control. To successfully run a business and ensure integrity to the highest degree, it is essential to set up internal controls. Internal controls are plans or programs that are set in place to safeguard your company’s assets, ensure the integrity of its accounting records, and deter and detect fraud and theft.
There are five elements of internal control in an integrated framework.
- Control Environment-management’s philosophy and operating style, the company’s organizational structure, and personnel policies.
- Risk Assessment- identify changes in customer requirements, competition, regulations, and economy. Assess and adjust accordingly to minimize them.
- Control Procedures-competent employees, rotating duties and mandatory vacations. Separating responsibilities for related operations, separating operations, custody of assets, and accounting. Proofs and security measures.
- Monitoring-observe employee behavior and accounting system.
- Information and Communication-information gathered from the control environment, risk assessment, control procedures, and monitoring are used by management to guide operations and ensure compliance with reporting, legal and regulatory requirements.
If I owned a small business with twenty-five employees I would implement each of these essential elements to protect my company’s assets and ensure that the company’s financial statements are accurate to detect and deter fraud. These elements would help to protect my dream, the company’s reputation, the employees who make their living by working at my company, and my customers.
Some of the specific examples within these five elements would include the following. I would have personnel policies put in place that are discussed at the time of hire, and annually at the annual manual handbook meeting. A few examples of policies in my business would be hiring, training, evaluations for the employees budget operations and business structure, compensation, promotion, job descriptions, annual employee performance review, code of ethics, conflict of interest, substance abuse, dress code, equal opportunity, safe computer use, social media, health and safety, confidentiality, bullying harassment and discrimination, grievance, paid time off, vacation, and leave of absence. Each policy would need to be signed by the employee, and the supervisor to specify they understand the terms of the policy.
I would have potential candidates for employment go through a screening and interview process. I would do a phone interview, then I would do a background check, then I would schedule a second interview that is face to face, then I would run a fingerprinting FBI background check, and then bring them in for their third and final interview that is face to face with me and the on-staff supervisor. When they make it to this point they would be offered the job, and this will allow me to ensure competent and honest employees are being hired.
Once a month a staff meeting followed by a risk committee meeting will be held. Each employee will attend this meeting to discuss changes in customer requirements, competitive threats, regulatory changes, changes in economic factors, and discuss the goals of the company to keep progressing. Unless the content is deemed unfit for employees to hear, this will be one meeting after another with all employees. This will to analyze the significance of each risk and discuss the possible actions that need to be taken to minimize any risks.
Employees who receive money, pay money out and take care of recording keeping will be three separate positions. Purchasing supplies will be completed by an employee, another employee will record on a checklist what the company received from this purchase, and another employee will pay the invoice for these supplies that were ordered. This ensures the integrity and prevents fraud in more ways than one. Employees who have credit cards will be required to submit their receipts to a clerical employee who will tape each receipt and code each receipt according to the accounting departments codes. The clerical employee will then type up a reconciliation log of the credit card usage and have the cardholder sign off on the purchases and the clerical employee will sign off on coding the receipts. The clerical employee will then be required to submit the log and receipts to accounting for an accuracy check and recording of the spending’s which they will also have to sign off on. The supervisor of the employee who records the receipts will also be required to sign off on this process as well. This procedure will remain the same for cash purchases as well. This will be the authorization, approval and reconciliation process. Within this authorization, approval and reconciliation process (AARP) requests such as funds for purchasing request, reimbursement for funds request, and request to travel for business forms will be used.
All training forms, receipt logs, invoices, blank checks for use such as paychecks and checks to pay vendors, request forms and anything being recorded into the accounting system will be prenumbered to ensure transactions are recorded only once. Restricted access to the computer accounting system will be to qualified employees only who each have a different log in code. Electronically maintained records will have access codes and be backed up so information is not lost or damaged and can be recovered. Internal audits will be done periodically throughout the year to ensure no mistakes have been made and check for fraud of any kind.
And finally, my last internal control method will be for the surplus of inventory and any cash on hand. Inventory not on display will be kept in a locked storage room on site. Any employee who adds inventory to this room or takes inventory out of this room will sign off on a log. Cash will be kept in a cash register up to a two-hundred-dollar limit. With the beginning and end of each shift, the money will be counted by a supervisor, logged, and signed off on by the employee and supervisor. The supervisor will then put the money into the safe until the end of the day when it is all counted and passed on to accounting to record.
Best of luck in your studies,
Ø Discussion week 6: Professional Relevance of Financial Accounting
Instructions: In this week’s discussion, you will make connections between your chosen field and what you have learned about financial accounting up to this point. This discussion is important practice for the second part of your final project, in which you will analyze the practical applications of financial accounting in terms of how relevant it is to your own professional aspirations.
In your initial post, describe your current or aspiring professional identity, including your career and the field in which you work or hope to work. What sort of transactions would you encounter in that field? What are the impacts of those transactions on the business? List and describe several examples.
Then, review your peers’ initial posts to find out who is working or plans to work in the fields or professions most closely related to your own. In your responses to those peers, compare and contrast your responses. Specifically, comment on how important financial accounting is within that field or profession. Before taking this course, would you have held the same view? Why or why not?