Ten Myths About  Internal Controls & the Property Tax Collection Office <br />IAAO Annual Conference <br />September 1, 20...
Myth #1:  few care about internal controls<br />Definition<br />Audit, auditors and their roles<br />Does the public care?...
Myth #2: Internal Controls are the same in all offices<br />Offices vary with responsibilities<br />Effect of operations o...
Myth #3: Audits always find weakneses in internal controls<br />Define audit and types of audit<br />Internal audit a perf...
Myth #4: Collection offices are not impacted by others’ criminal acts <br />Discuss concept of public trust and how it has...
Myth #5: Ethical behavior among employees varies little<br />Define ethics<br />Value of written ethical conduct policy<br...
Myth #6: Employees do not need to understand internal controls<br />Critical need to understand internal controls and ther...
Myth #7: Specific internal controls, such as a cash handling policy, should be updated before the annual audit<br />Policy...
Myth #8: Theft & fraud are unpredictable<br />Good internal controls provide means to address theft & fraud<br />Reporting...
Myth #9: Internal controls should not be made public<br />Transparency<br />What are limits to transparency if any?<br />E...
Myth #10: With adequate policies in place, internal control problems can be EASILY identified & resolved.<br />It’s never ...
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The ten myths about internal controls & the

  1. 1. Ten Myths About Internal Controls & the Property Tax Collection Office <br />IAAO Annual Conference <br />September 1, 2010 <br />Presented by Tax Collection Council members <br />Tina Morton, Sylvia Romo & Kim Simpson<br />
  2. 2. Myth #1: few care about internal controls<br />Definition<br />Audit, auditors and their roles<br />Does the public care?<br />Why everyone in the office should care<br />
  3. 3. Myth #2: Internal Controls are the same in all offices<br />Offices vary with responsibilities<br />Effect of operations other than tax collection<br />Size, location and use of technology<br />
  4. 4. Myth #3: Audits always find weakneses in internal controls<br />Define audit and types of audit<br />Internal audit a performance evaluation tool<br />Audit covers specifics – may not address human factors<br />
  5. 5. Myth #4: Collection offices are not impacted by others’ criminal acts <br />Discuss concept of public trust and how it has eroded with private / public failures<br />Define voluntary compliance<br />Relate voluntary compliance to public trust – what does having it mean for our collection rates?<br />Perception of wrong-doing<br />If there is a problem, is it better to expose or hide?<br />
  6. 6. Myth #5: Ethical behavior among employees varies little<br />Define ethics<br />Value of written ethical conduct policy<br />Ethical decision making has changed completely over the last 3 decades<br />
  7. 7. Myth #6: Employees do not need to understand internal controls<br />Critical need to understand internal controls and therefore, performance expectations<br />Sustainable training program needed<br />Personal accountability for funds<br />
  8. 8. Myth #7: Specific internal controls, such as a cash handling policy, should be updated before the annual audit<br />Policy for the auditor only misses the point<br />Dynamic nature of efficient / effective policies and systems<br />Sometimes a policy needs an overhaul<br />
  9. 9. Myth #8: Theft & fraud are unpredictable<br />Good internal controls provide means to address theft & fraud<br />Reporting responsibilities<br />Clarify criminal penalties<br />
  10. 10. Myth #9: Internal controls should not be made public<br />Transparency<br />What are limits to transparency if any?<br />Educating the public may lead to better understanding / acceptance of unpopular policies, like NSF fees<br />
  11. 11. Myth #10: With adequate policies in place, internal control problems can be EASILY identified & resolved.<br />It’s never easy<br />Establish & maintain climate of shared responsibility<br />Recognize & reward behavior that helps to standardize desired ethical conduct<br />Promote communication about policy & encourage input for improvement<br />

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