Spice Is Right was established in 1990 in Boston where they began importing exotic spices and cooking sauces from India and China. They distribute these specialty foods to ethnic food shops, cafes, and restaurants across the country. In addition to their Boston headquarters and warehouse, the company has a distribution center in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Spice Is Right currently employs over 100 people, has dozens of suppliers, and trades in hundreds of ethnic and exotic foods from all over the world. Recently Spice Is Right has been receiving complaints from customers and suppliers about billing, shipping, and payment errors. Management believes that these complaints stem, in part, from an antiquated computer system. Spice’s current information system includes manual procedures supported by independent (non-networked) PCs in each department, which cannot communicate with each other. Document flow between the departments is entirely in hard-copy form. The following is a description of their revenue cycle at the Boston headquarters office. Sales Procedures Spice Is Right’s revenue cycle begins when a customer places an order with a sales representative by phone or fax. A sales department employee enters the customer order into a standard sales order format using a word processor installed on a PC to produces six documents: three copies of sales orders, a stock release, a shipping notice, and a packing slip. The accounting department receives a copy of the sales order, the warehouse receives the stock release and a copy of the sales order, and the shipping department receives a shipping notice and packing slip. The sales clerk files a copy of the sales order in the department. Upon receipt of the sales order, the accounting department clerk manually prepares an invoice and sends it to the customer. Using data from the sales order the clerk then enters the sale in the department PC and records the sale in the sales journal and in the AR subsidiary ledger. At the end of the day the clerk prepares a hard-copy sales journal voucher, which is sent to the general ledger department. The warehouse receives a copy of the sales order and stock release. A warehouse employee picks the product and sends it to the shipping department along with the stock release. A warehouse clerk updates the inventory records on the warehouse PC and files the sales order in the warehouse. At the end of the day the clerk prepares a hard copy AR account summary and sends it to the general ledger department. The shipping department receives a shipping notice and packing slip from the sales department. The shipping notice is filed. Upon receipt of the stock release, the shipping clerk prepares the two copies of a bill of lading using a word processor. The bills of lading and the packing slip are sent with the product to the carrier. The clerk then files the stock release in the department. The general ledger clerk posts the journal voucher and inventory summary to the general ledger, which is stored on the department PC, the clerk then files these documents in the general ledger department. Cash Receipts Procedure The mail room has five employees who open and sort all mail. Each employee has two bins, one for remittance advices and one for checks. Before separating the two documents and putting them in their respective bins, the clerks reconcile the amounts on the checks and remittance advices. The remittance advices are sent to the accounting department where a clerk records each remittance advice on a remittance list. The remittance list is then sent to the cash receipts department. Using the remittance advices, the accounting clerk updates the customer accounts receivable on the department PC and files the advice in the department. At the end of the day the clerk prepares an account summery on the PC. A hard copy of the summary is sent to the general ledger department. The mail room clerk sends the checks to the cash receipts department, where a clerk endorses each check with the words ‘‘For Deposit Only.’’ Next the clerk reconciles the checks with the remittance list and records the cash receipts in the cash receipts journal on the department PC. Finally, the clerk prepares a deposit slip and sends it and the checks to the bank. The general ledger posts the accounts receivable summary to general ledger and files it in the general ledger department.
a. Create a data flow diagram of the current system.
b. Create a system flowchart of the existing system.
c. Identify the internal control weaknesses in the system. Use the six categories of physical control activities specified in SAS 78/COSO for your analysis.
d. Prepare a system flowchart of a redesigned computer-based system that resolves the control weaknesses that you identified. Explain your solution.