Multicriteria analysis of internal controls in a Brazilian banking operation with focus on accounting information systems

Stephanie Ackermann - , Joshua Onome Imoniana -


The objective of the present study is to understand how the preparers of accounting information systems elect in the midst of stream of internal control procedures to mitigate the risk of material misstatement in financial statements.  In effect, what renders some controls unnecessary and other prioritized, and what impacts do such attitudes create in the operational results. Therefore, this study consists of a multicriteria analysis on the exercise of internal controls in a Brazilian banking operation with a focus on Accounting Information Systems (AIS).  We interviewed seven employees from different functions of an organisation, who currently hold positions in the Operations, Accounts Payable, Information Technology and Finance. Results show that the multicriteria analysis of internal control which leads to relegating certain controls to secondary place and others prioritised are as a result of a) management do not understand in its entirety the relative importance of certain controls; b) management give importance to certain controls by overriding some in order to be efficient, knowing fully well that the lower relative importance controls are ostensibly less important; c) the control environment masterminds controls to suite managerial style by focusing resources toward  high strategic risk; and d) resources are scarce in particular in SMEs where AIS are underused so as to comply with every control procedures.  Overall, results also demonstrate that issue of multicriteria of internal control lies within human factors of managing scarce resources when measuring relative importance of controls in AIS.

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