Permission to Override Internal Controls?

It’s clear that there is a time and place for management to occasionally override a control. Everything in business is not routine, and there are times when special situations require special treatment. It would be silly to prohibit management from ever overriding the policies and procedures that are in place. There has to be guidance in place to direct employees when they may consider overriding controls.

However, it’s important to recognize that the override of controls should be the exception rather than the rule. Employees should be able to circumvent the system only on an infrequent basis, and these instances must be actively monitored to determine if the override process is being abused.

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Internal Controls: Good Controls are Useless if Management Can Override Them

Some companies think they are protected against employee fraud because they have strong internal controls. Often, that’s the case. Good controls mean the rules are followed and the money is properly accounted for.

Sometimes, however, good controls are meaningless. What about the controls over the controls? All the rules and designated procedures in the world are meaningless if management has the ability to override them at will. When these overrides go unchecked, the company is often no better off than if they didn’t have any controls in place.

Indeed, the risk that management will override controls established to prevent fraud and ensure accurate financial statements is great. It is a constant risk as executives are in a position to manipulate numbers and direct employees to aid the manipulation. They can easily fabricate transactions or modify numbers to craft the financial statements to report whatever their hearts desire.

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Koss Says They’ll Be More Profitable Now That Their VP of Finance Isn’t Stealing $31 Million From Them

Koss Corporation (NASDAQ:KOSS) filed a 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday that pointed out the obvious… Now that their VP of Finance isn’t stealing at least $31 million from them, they think they’ll be more profitable.

The company says they’ll be restating the financial statements for the fiscal years ended June 2008 and June 2009, at the very least, and also restate the quarterly reports filed so far for fiscal 2010. The company says their numbers will improve now that Sue Sachdeva isn’t stealing from them (bold added by me):

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