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Ais Romney 2006 Slides 13 The Hr Cycle

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Ais Romney 2006 Slides 13 The Hr Cycle

Ais Romney 2006 Slides 13 The Hr Cycle


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  • 1. HAPTER 13 The Human Resources Management / Payroll Cycle
  • 2. INTRODUCTION
    • Questions to be addressed in this chapter include:
      • What are the basic business activities and data processing operations that are performed in the human resources management (HRM)/payroll cycle?
      • What decisions need to be made in this cycle, and what information is needed to make these decisions?
      • What are the major threats and the controls that can mitigate those threats?
  • 3. INTRODUCTION
    • The HRM/Payroll cycle is a recurring set of business activities and related data processing operations associated with effectively managing the employee workforce.
  • 4. INTRODUCTION
    • The most important tasks performed in the HRM/payroll cycle are:
      • Recruiting and hiring new employees
      • Training
      • Job assignment
      • Compensation (payroll)
      • Performance evaluation
      • Discharge of employees (voluntarily or involuntarily)
    • Payroll costs are also allocated to products and departments for use in product pricing and mix decisions.
  • 5. INTRODUCTION
    • The most important tasks performed in the HRM/payroll cycle are:
      • Recruiting and hiring new employees
      • Training
      • Job assignment
      • Compensation (payroll)
      • Performance evaluation
      • Discharge of employees (voluntarily or involuntarily)
    • Payroll costs are also allocated to products and departments for use in product pricing and mix decisions.
    These two tasks are normally done only once for each employee.
  • 6. INTRODUCTION
    • The most important tasks performed in the HRM/payroll cycle are:
      • Recruiting and hiring new employees
      • Training
      • Job assignment
      • Compensation (payroll)
      • Performance evaluation
      • Discharge of employees (voluntarily or involuntarily)
    • Payroll costs are also allocated to products and departments for use in product pricing and mix decisions.
    These tasks are done repeatedly as long as the employee works for the company.
  • 7. INTRODUCTION
    • The most important tasks performed in the HRM/payroll cycle are:
      • Recruiting and hiring new employees
      • Training
      • Job assignment
      • Compensation (payroll)
      • Performance evaluation
      • Discharge of employees (voluntarily or involuntarily)
    • Payroll costs are also allocated to products and departments for use in product pricing and mix decisions.
    In most companies these six activities are split between a payroll system and an HRM system.
  • 8. INTRODUCTION
    • The most important tasks performed in the HRM/payroll cycle are:
      • Recruiting and hiring new employees
      • Training
      • Job assignment
      • Compensation (payroll)
      • Performance evaluation
      • Discharge of employees (voluntarily or involuntarily)
    • Payroll costs are also allocated to products and departments for use in product pricing and mix decisions.
    The payroll system handles compensation and comes under the purview of the controller.
  • 9. INTRODUCTION
    • The most important tasks performed in the HRM/payroll cycle are:
      • Recruiting and hiring new employees
      • Training
      • Job assignment
      • Compensation (payroll)
      • Performance evaluation
      • Discharge of employees (voluntarily or involuntarily)
    • Payroll costs are also allocated to products and departments for use in product pricing and mix decisions.
    The HRM system handles the other five tasks and comes under the purview of the director of human resources.
  • 10. INTRODUCTION
    • In this chapter, we’ll focus primarily on the payroll system:
      • One of the largest and most important components of the AIS
      • Must be designed to meet:
        • Management’s needs
        • Government regulations
      • Incomplete or erroneous payroll records:
        • Impair decision making
        • Can results in fines and/or imprisonment
  • 11. INTRODUCTION
    • The design of the HRM system is also important because the knowledge and skills of employees are valuable assets, so HRM systems should:
      • Help assign these assets to appropriate tasks; and
      • Help monitor their continuous development.
  • 12. INTRODUCTION
    • There are five major sources of input to the payroll system:
      • HRM department provides information about hirings, terminations, and pay-rate changes.
      • Employees provide changes in discretionary deductions (e.g., optional life insurance).
      • Various departments provide data about the actual hours worked by employees.
      • Government agencies provide tax rates and regulatory instructions.
      • Insurance companies and other organizations provide instructions for calculating and remitting various withholdings.
  • 13. INTRODUCTION
    • Principal outputs of the payroll system are checks:
      • Employees receive individual paychecks .
      • A payroll check is sent to the bank to transfer funds from the company’s regular account to its payroll account.
      • Checks are issued to government agencies, insurance companies, etc., to remit employee and employer taxes, insurance premiums, union dues, etc.
    • The payroll system also produces a variety of reports.
  • 14. INTRODUCTION
    • Employees are an organization’s most valuable assets:
      • Their knowledge and skills affect quality and quantity of goods and services.
      • Labor costs are a major expense in generating revenues and a key cost driver.
    • The traditional AIS has not measured or reported on the status of a company’s human resources:
      • Financial statements do not regard employees as assets.
      • Under GAAP, the value of human services is not measured until they have been consumed.
  • 15. INTRODUCTION
    • However, some companies are now creating positions for a direction of intellectual assets.
    • Some may even include HR info in their annual report, including reports on:
      • Human capital: The knowledge employees possess, which can be enhanced.
      • Intellectual capital: The knowledge that’s been captured and implemented in decision support systems, expert systems, or knowledge databases, so that it can be shared.
  • 16. INTRODUCTION
    • Because employees are so valuable, turnover is expensive:
      • Average cost of replacement is 1.5 times the employee’s annual salary.
      • Turnover rates need to be managed so they’re not excessive.
  • 17. INTRODUCTION
    • Employee morale is also important.
      • Bad morale leads to high turnover.
      • Employee attitudes affect customer interactions and are positively correlated with profitability.
      • Employees need to:
        • Believe they have the opportunity to do what they do best
        • Believe their opinions count
        • Believe their coworkers are committed to quality
        • Understand the connection between their jobs and the company’s mission.
  • 18. INTRODUCTION
    • To effectively track intellectual capital and human resources, the AIS must do more than just record time and attendance and prepare paychecks.
    • Payroll should be integrated with HRM so management can access data about employee-related costs and employee skills and knowledge.
  • 19. PAYROLL CYCLE ACTIVITIES
    • Let’s take a look at payroll cycle activities.
    • The payroll application is processed in batch mode because:
      • Paychecks are issued periodically.
      • Most employees are paid at the same time.
  • 20. PAYROLL CYCLE ACTIVITIES
    • The seven basic activities in the payroll cycle are:
      • Update payroll master file
      • Update tax rates and deductions
      • Validate time and attendance data
      • Prepare payroll
      • Disburse payroll
      • Calculate employer-paid benefits and taxes
      • Disburse payroll taxes and miscellaneous deductions
  • 21. PAYROLL CYCLE ACTIVITIES
    • The seven basic activities in the payroll cycle are:
      • Update payroll master file
      • Update tax rates and deductions
      • Validate time and attendance data
      • Prepare payroll
      • Disburse payroll
      • Calculate employer-paid benefits and taxes
      • Disburse payroll taxes and miscellaneous deductions
  • 22. UPDATE PAYROLL MASTER FILE
    • The HRM department provides information on new hires, terminations, changes in pay rates, and changes in discretionary withholdings.
    • Appropriate edit checks, such as validity checks on employee number and reasonableness tests are applied to all change transactions.
    • Changes must be entered in a timely manner and reflected in the next pay period.
    • Records of terminated employees should not be deleted immediately as some year-end reports (e.g., W-2s) require data on compensation for all employees during the year.
  • 23. PAYROLL CYCLE ACTIVITIES
    • The seven basic activities in the payroll cycle are:
      • Update payroll master file
      • Update tax rates and deductions
      • Validate time and attendance data
      • Prepare payroll
      • Disburse payroll
      • Calculate employer-paid benefits and taxes
      • Disburse payroll taxes and miscellaneous deductions
  • 24. UPDATE TAX RATES AND DEDUCTIONS
    • The payroll department receives notification of changes in tax rates and other payroll deductions from government agencies, insurers, unions, etc.
    • These changes occur periodically.
  • 25. PAYROLL CYCLE ACTIVITIES
    • The seven basic activities in the payroll cycle are:
      • Update payroll master file
      • Update tax rates and deductions
      • Validate time and attendance data
      • Prepare payroll
      • Disburse payroll
      • Calculate employer-paid benefits and taxes
      • Disburse payroll taxes and miscellaneous deductions
  • 26. VALIDATE TIME AND ATTENDANCE DATA
    • Information on time and attendance comes in various forms depending on the employee’s pay scheme.
  • 27. VALIDATE TIME AND ATTENDANCE DATA
    • Some employees are paid on an hourly basis.
      • Many companies use a time card to record their arrival and departure time.
        • This document typically includes total hours worked during a pay period.
      • Some use electronic time clocks , where employees swipe their badge through a reader when they come and go.
      • Manufacturing companies may use job time tickets to record not only time present but also time dedicated to each job.
  • 28. VALIDATE TIME AND ATTENDANCE DATA
    • Some employees earn a fixed salary, e.g., managers and professional staff.
      • Usually don’t record their time, but supervisors informally monitor their presence.
      • Professionals in accounting, law, and consulting firms must track their time on various assignments to accurately bill clients.
  • 29. VALIDATE TIME AND ATTENDANCE DATA
    • Sales staff are often paid on a straight commission or base salary plus commission.
    • Some may also receive bonuses for surpassing sales targets.
      • Requires careful recording of their sales.
  • 30. VALIDATE TIME AND ATTENDANCE DATA
    • Increasingly, laborers may be paid partly on productivity.
    • Some management and employees may receive stock to motivate them to cut costs and improve service.
  • 31. VALIDATE TIME AND ATTENDANCE DATA
    • The payroll system needs to link to the revenue cycle and other cycles to calculate these payments.
    • It’s also important to design bonus schemes with realistic, attainable goals that:
      • Can be measured
      • Are congruent with corporate objectives
      • Are monitored by management for continued appropriateness
      • Are legal
  • 32. VALIDATE TIME AND ATTENDANCE DATA
    • Accountants and Compensation Policies
      • Recent corporate scandals have led to scrutiny and criticism of executive compensation plans:
        • FASB issued new rules requiring that stock options be expensed.
        • Major U.S. stock exchanges now require companies to obtain shareholder approval of stock compensation.
  • 33. VALIDATE TIME AND ATTENDANCE DATA
      • Compensation boards are being created to design compensation plans, rather than having executives create their own.
      • Accountants can help by:
        • Advising on financial and tax effects of proposals.
        • Identifying appropriate metrics to measure performance.
        • Enabling compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
        • Suggesting appropriate public disclosures.
  • 34. VALIDATE TIME AND ATTENDANCE DATA
    • How can information technology help?
      • Collecting time and attendance data electronically, e.g.:
        • Badge readers
        • Electronic time clocks
        • Data entered on terminals
        • Touch-tone telephone logs
      • Using edit checks to verify accuracy and reasonableness when the data are entered.
  • 35. PAYROLL CYCLE ACTIVITIES
    • The seven basic activities in the payroll cycle are:
      • Update payroll master file
      • Update tax rates and deductions
      • Validate time and attendance data
      • Prepare payroll
      • Disburse payroll
      • Calculate employer-paid benefits and taxes
      • Disburse payroll taxes and miscellaneous deductions
  • 36. PREPARE PAYROLL
    • The employee’s department provides data about hours worked.
    • A supervisor confirms the data.
    • Pay rate information is obtained from the payroll master file.
  • 37. PREPARE PAYROLL
    • Procedures:
      • The payroll transaction file is sorted by employee number (same sequence as master file).
      • For each transaction, the payroll master file is read for pay rates, etc., and gross pay is calculated.
        • Hourly Employees: Gross pay = (hours worked x wage rate) + Overtime + Bonuses
        • Salaried Employees: Gross pay = annual salary x fraction of year worked
  • 38. PREPARE PAYROLL
      • Payroll deductions are summed and subtracted from gross pay to obtain net pay. There are two types of deductions:
        • Payroll tax withholdings
        • Voluntary deductions
      • Year-to-date totals for gross pay, deductions, and net pay are calculated, and the master file is updated. Cumulative records are important because:
        • Social Security and other deductions cease or decline at certain levels.
        • The information will be needed for tax reports.
  • 39. PREPARE PAYROLL
      • The following are printed:
        • Paychecks for employees--often accompanied by an earnings statement , which lists pay detail, current and year-to-date.
        • A payroll register which lists each employee’s gross pay, deductions, and net pay in a multi-column format:
          • Is used to authorize the transfer of funds to the company’s payroll bank account.
          • May be accompanied by a deduction register , listing miscellaneous voluntary deductions for each employee .
  • 40. PREPARE PAYROLL
      • As payroll transactions are processed, labor costs are accumulated by general ledger accounts based on codes on the job time tickets.
        • The totals for each account are used as the basis for a summary journal entry to be posted to the general ledger.
      • Other payroll reports and government reports are produced.
  • 41. PAYROLL CYCLE ACTIVITIES
    • The seven basic activities in the payroll cycle are:
      • Update payroll master file
      • Update tax rates and deductions
      • Validate time and attendance data
      • Prepare payroll
      • Disburse payroll
      • Calculate employer-paid benefits and taxes
      • Disburse payroll taxes and miscellaneous deductions
  • 42. DISBURSE PAYROLL
    • Most employees are paid either by:
      • Check
      • Direct deposit
      • In some industries, such as construction, cash payments may still be made, but does not provide good documentation
  • 43. DISBURSE PAYROLL
    • Procedures:
      • When paychecks have been prepared, the payroll register is sent to accounts payable for review and approval.
      • A disbursement voucher is prepared to authorize transfer of funds from checking to the payroll bank account.
        • For control purposes, checks should not be drawn on the company’s regular bank account
        • A separate account is created for this purpose
          • Limits the company’s loss exposure
          • Makes it easier to reconcile payroll and detect paycheck forgeries
  • 44. DISBURSE PAYROLL
      • The approved disbursement voucher and payroll register are sent to the cashier. The cashier:
          • Reviews the documents.
          • Prepares and signs the payroll check to transfer the funds.
          • Reviews, signs, and distributes employee paychecks (which separates authorization and recording from distribution of checks).
          • Re-deposits unclaimed checks in the company’s bank account.
          • Sends a list of these paychecks to internal audit for investigation.
  • 45. DISBURSE PAYROLL
          • Returns the payroll register to payroll department, where it is filed with time cards and job time tickets.
          • Sends the disbursement voucher to accounting clerk to update general ledger.
  • 46. DISBURSE PAYROLL
    • Efficiency Opportunity: Direct Deposit
      • Direct deposit can improve efficiency and reduce costs of payroll processing
        • Employee receives a copy of the check and an earnings statement
        • Each bank receives a record of the payroll deposits for that bank via EDI. The record includes:
          • Employee number
          • Social Security number
          • Bank account number
          • Net pay amount
  • 47. DISBURSE PAYROLL
        • Savings occur because:
          • While the cashier does authorize release of funds, he/she does not sign each check.
          • Eliminates costs of buying, processing, and distributing paper checks.
          • Eliminates postage.
        • Additional costs:
          • Elimination of float between when check is distributed and when it is deposited by employee.
        • Savings typically outweigh costs
  • 48. PAYROLL CYCLE ACTIVITIES
    • The seven basic activities in the payroll cycle are:
      • Update payroll master file
      • Update tax rates and deductions
      • Validate time and attendance data
      • Prepare payroll
      • Disburse payroll
      • Calculate employer-paid benefits and taxes
      • Disburse payroll taxes and miscellaneous deductions
  • 49. CALCULATE EMPLOYER-PAID BENEFITS AND TAXES
    • The employer pays some payroll taxes and employee benefits directly
      • The employer withholds federal and state taxes from employee paycheck, along with Medicare tax, and the employee’s share of Social Security.
      • May also withhold voluntary deductions such as union dues, United Way contributions, credit union savings, retirement contributions, etc.
  • 50. CALCULATE EMPLOYER-PAID BENEFITS AND TAXES
    • In addition, the employer pays:
      • A matching amount of Social Security
      • Federal and state unemployment taxes
      • The employer share of health, disability, and life insurance premiums, as well as pension contributions
    • Some companies offer flexible benefit plans, sometimes called cafeteria-style benefit plans.
      • These plans offer a menu of options.
  • 51. CALCULATE EMPLOYER-PAID BENEFITS AND TAXES
    • Benefit programs increase the demands on the HRM/payroll system for gathering employee data, disbursing payments and information, etc.
    • Providing access to payroll/HRM information through a company intranet can help reduce costs.
  • 52. PAYROLL CYCLE ACTIVITIES
    • The seven basic activities in the payroll cycle are:
      • Update payroll master file
      • Update tax rates and deductions
      • Validate time and attendance data
      • Prepare payroll
      • Disburse payroll
      • Calculate employer-paid benefits and taxes
      • Disburse payroll taxes and miscellaneous deductions
  • 53. DISBURSE PAYROLL TAXES AND MISCELLANEOUS DEDUCTIONS
    • The company must periodically prepare checks or EFT to pay tax and other liabilities.
  • 54. OUTSOURCING OPTIONS
    • Many entities outsource payroll and HRM to:
      • Payroll service bureaus
        • Maintain the payroll master file and perform payroll processing activities
      • Professional employer organizations (PEOs)
        • Perform the services of the payroll service bureau
        • Also administer and design employee benefit plans
        • Generally more expensive than payroll service bureaus
  • 55. OUTSOURCING OPTIONS
    • When organizations outsource payroll processing, they send the service bureau or PEO at the end of each period:
      • Personnel changes
      • Employee time and attendance data
    • The service bureau or PEO then:
      • Prepares paychecks, earnings statements, and a payroll register
      • Periodically produces tax documents
  • 56. OUTSOURCING OPTIONS
    • Outsourcing is especially attractive to small and mid-size businesses because:
      • It’s often cheaper for smaller companies
      • The bureau or PEO may provide a wider range of benefits
      • It frees up the company’s computer resources for other areas
    • However, companies must carefully monitor service quality to ensure that these systems integrate HRM and payroll data in a manner that supports effective management of employees.
  • 57. CONTROL: OBJECTIVES, THREATS, AND PROCEDURES
    • In the HRM/payroll cycle (or any cycle), a well-designed AIS should provide adequate controls to ensure that the following objectives are met:
      • All transactions are properly authorized
      • All recorded transactions are valid
      • All valid and authorized transactions are recorded
      • All transactions are recorded accurately
      • Assets are safeguarded from loss or theft
      • Business activities are performed efficiently and effectively
      • The company is in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations
      • All disclosures are full and fair
  • 58. CONTROL: OBJECTIVES, THREATS, AND PROCEDURES
    • There are several actions a company can take with respect to any cycle to reduce threats of errors or irregularities. These include:
      • Using simple, easy-to-complete documents with clear instructions (enhances accuracy and reliability).
      • Using appropriate application controls, such as validity checks and field checks (enhances accuracy and reliability).
      • Providing space on forms to record who completed and who reviewed the form (encourages proper authorizations and accountability).
  • 59. CONTROL: OBJECTIVES, THREATS, AND PROCEDURES
      • Pre-numbering documents (encourages recording of valid and only valid transactions).
      • Restricting access to blank documents (reduces risk of unauthorized transaction).
  • 60. CONTROL: OBJECTIVES, THREATS, AND PROCEDURES
    • Following is a discussion of threats to the HRM/payroll system, organized around three areas:
      • Employment practices
      • Payroll processing
      • General control issues
  • 61. THREATS IN EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES
    • Objective:
      • Effectively hire, retain, and dismiss employees.
    • The major threats in the employment practices area are:
      • THREAT 1: Hiring Unqualified or Larcenous Employees
      • THREAT 2: Violation of Employment Law
    • You can click on any of the threats below to get more information on:
      • The types of problems posed by each threat
      • The controls that can mitigate the threats.
  • 62. THREATS IN EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES
    • THREAT 1: HIRING UNQUALIFIED OR LARCENOUS EMPLOYEES
      • Why is this a problem?
        • Can increase production expenses
        • Can result in theft of assets
        • Can result in civil and criminal penalties for the company (e.g., if an employee attempts to make a bribe)
      • Controls:
        • State skill qualifications for each position explicitly in the position control report
        • Ask candidates to sign a statement confirming the accuracy of the information on their application
  • 63. THREATS IN EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES
        • Recent honesty surveys indicate that 30% of Americans are dishonest, 30% are situationally honest, and 40% are honest. Therefore, ask candidates to consent to a thorough background check of their credentials, employment history, and credit:
          • You cannot conduct these checks without a written consent
          • Discard candidates who refuse to consent
  • 64. THREATS IN EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES
          • Conduct the background checks and verify skills and references, including college degrees earned:
            • Data released in March 2004 indicate that 50% of resumes contain false or embellished information.
            • Check at least three references, and regard it as a negative signal if at least one is not gratuitously positive.
    Return to Threat Menu Go To Next Threat
  • 65. THREATS IN EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES
    • THREAT 2: VIOLATION OF EMPLOYMENT LAW
      • Why is this a problem?
        • Can result in stiff government penalties as well as civil suits
      • Controls:
        • Carefully document all actions relating to advertising, recruiting, hiring new employees, and dismissal of employees, to demonstrate compliance
        • Provide employees with continual training to keep them current with employment law
    Return to Threat Menu Go To Next Threat
  • 66. THREATS IN PAYROLL PROCESSING
    • Objective:
      • Efficiently and effectively compensate employees for services provided .
    • The major threats in the employment practices area are:
      • THREAT 3: Unauthorized Changes to the Payroll Master File
      • THREAT 4: Inaccurate Time Data
      • THREAT 5: Inaccurate Processing of Payroll
      • THREAT 6: Theft or Fraudulent Distribution of Paychecks
    • You can click on any of the threats below to get more information on:
      • The types of problems posed by each threat
      • The controls that can mitigate the threats.
  • 67. THREATS IN PAYROLL PROCESSING
    • THREAT 3: UNAUTHORIZED CHANGES TO THE PAYROLL MASTER FILE
      • Why is this a problem?
        • Can increase expenses if wages, salaries, commissions, or base rates are falsified
        • Can result in inaccurate reporting and erroneous decisions
  • 68. THREATS IN PAYROLL PROCESSING
      • Controls:
        • Proper segregation of duties:
          • Only HRM department should be able to update payroll master file.
          • HRM employees should not directly participate in payroll processing or distribution.
            • Prevents the creation of ghost employees and fraudulent checks.
          • Changes to the payroll master file should be reviewed and approved by someone other than the person recommending the change.
            • Department supervisors should receive copies of these documents for review.
  • 69. THREATS IN PAYROLL PROCESSING
        • Restrict logical and physical access to the payroll system:
          • Utilize user IDs, passwords, and an access control matrix.
          • Control terminals from which payroll data and programs can be accessed.
    Return to Threat Menu Go To Next Threat
  • 70. THREATS IN PAYROLL PROCESSING
    • THREAT 4: INACCURATE TIME DATA
      • Why is this a problem?
        • Can result in payments for services not rendered
        • Inaccurate or missing checks can damage employee morale
        • Can result in inaccurate labor reporting
  • 71. THREATS IN PAYROLL PROCESSING
      • Controls:
        • Automation can reduce unintentional inaccuracies with:
          • Badge readers
          • Bar code scanners
          • Online terminals
        • Data entry programs should include edit checks:
          • Field checks for employee number and hours worked
          • Limit checks on hours worked
          • Validity checks on employee numbers
  • 72. THREATS IN PAYROLL PROCESSING
        • Segregation of duties can reduce intentional inaccuracies:
          • People who process payroll should not have access to payroll master file.
          • Supervisors should approve all changes.
        • Time clock data should be reconciled to job time tickets by an independent party.
        • Supervisors should approve all time cards and job time tickets.
    Return to Threat Menu Go To Next Threat
  • 73. THREATS IN PAYROLL PROCESSING
    • THREAT 5: INACCURATE PROCESSING OF PAYROLL
      • Why is this a problem?
        • Errors damage employee morale, especially if they cause late paychecks.
        • Penalties can accrue if:
          • Proper payroll taxes are not remitted to the government
          • Court-ordered paycheck garnishments are not made appropriately
  • 74. THREATS IN PAYROLL PROCESSING
      • Controls:
        • Batch totals:
          • Run and reconcile batch totals before and after processing and at the end of each stage, including hash totals of employee numbers
        • Cross-footing of payroll register
          • Make sure that sum of rows equals sum of columns, i.e., total of net pay column should equal total of gross pay minus deduction totals.
  • 75. THREATS IN PAYROLL PROCESSING
      • Payroll clearing account
        • A general ledger account used in a two-step process
          • First step:
            • Payroll control account is debited for amount of gross pay
            • Cash is credited for net pay
            • Various liabilities are credited for withholdings
          • Second step
            • Cost accounting process distributes labor costs to various expense categories and credits payroll control account for sum of the allocations.
        • Result should be a zero balance in the control account.
  • 76. THREATS IN PAYROLL PROCESSING
      • Review decisions to hire temporary or outside help to make sure workers are properly classified as employees or independent contractors.
        • Improper classification can result in significant back taxes, interest, and penalties.
    Return to Threat Menu Go To Next Threat
  • 77. THREATS IN PAYROLL PROCESSING
    • THREAT 6: THEFT OR FRAUDULENT DISTRIBUTION OF PAYCHECKS
      • Why is this a problem?
        • Payments may be made to fictitious (ghost) or terminated employees, resulting in:
          • Increased expenses
          • Loss of cash
      • Controls:
        • Restrict access to blank payroll checks and check signing machine.
        • All checks should be sequentially prenumbered and accounted for periodically.
  • 78. THREATS IN PAYROLL PROCESSING
          • Cashier should sign all checks, but only when supported by proper documentation.
          • An imprest payroll bank account should be used.
          • Someone independent of the payroll process should reconcile the payroll bank account.
          • Segregate duties between those who authorize and record payroll and those who distribute checks and transfer funds.
          • Have internal audit observe payroll distribution on a surprise basis.
          • Unclaimed checks should be returned to the treasurer’s office for prompt re-deposit and should be investigated.
    Return to Threat Menu Go To Next Threat
  • 79. GENERAL THREATS
    • Two general objectives pertain to activities in every cycle:
      • Accurate data should be available when needed
      • Activities should be performed efficiently and effectively
    • The general threats are:
      • THREAT 7: Loss, Alteration, or Unauthorized Disclosure of Data
      • THREAT 8: Poor Performance
    • You can click on any of the threats below to get more information on:
      • The types of problems posed by each threat
      • The controls that can mitigate the threats.
  • 80. GENERAL THREATS
    • THREAT 7: LOSS, ALTERATION, OR UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE OF DATA
      • Why is this a problem?
        • Loss or alteration of payroll data can result in delayed and/or inaccurate paychecks and reports.
        • Unauthorized disclosure of confidential employee data can violate state and federal laws and damage employee morale.
  • 81. GENERAL THREATS
      • Controls:
        • Payroll files should be backed up regularly.
          • At least one backup on site and one offsite.
        • All disks and tapes should have external and internal file labels to reduce chance of accidentally erasing important data.
        • Access controls should be utilized
          • User IDs and passwords
          • Compatibility matrices
          • Controls for individual terminals (e.g., so the receiving dock can’t enter a sales order).
          • Logs of all activities, particularly those requiring specific authorizations, should be maintained.
  • 82. GENERAL THREATS
        • Default settings on ERP systems usually allow users far too much access to data, so these systems must be modified to enforce proper segregation of duties.
        • Sensitive data should be encrypted in storage and in transmission.
        • Websites should use SSL for secure employee communications.
        • Payroll service bureaus and PEOs can help provide security for data.
        • VPNs should be used to exchange data with service bureaus or PEOs.
        • Parity checks, acknowledgment messages, and control totals should be used to ensure transmission accuracy.
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  • 83. GENERAL THREATS
    • THREAT 8: POOR PERFORMANCE
      • Why is this a problem?
        • May damage employee relations.
        • Reduces profitability
      • Controls:
        • Prepare and review performance reports
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  • 84. KEY DECISIONS AND INFORMATION NEEDS
    • The payroll system should be integrated with cost data and HR information so management can make decisions with respect to the following types of issues:
      • Future work force staffing needs
      • Employee performance
      • Employee morale
      • Payroll processing efficiency and effectiveness
  • 85. KEY DECISIONS AND INFORMATION NEEDS
    • Benefits of an integrated HRM/payroll model:
      • Access to current, accurate information about employee skills and knowledge.
      • HRM activities can be performed more efficiently and costs reduced.
        • EXAMPLE: Employment application terminals in Wal-Mart.
      • Recruiting costs can be reduced, when applicant data is electronically accessible.
  • 86. SUMMARY
    • You’ve learned about the basic business activities and data processing operations that are performed in the HRM/payroll cycle, including recruiting, hiring, training, assigning, compensating, evaluating, and discharging employees.
    • You’ve also learned about key procedures in payroll processing.
    • You’ve learned how IT can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of these processes.
  • 87. SUMMARY
    • You’ve learned about decisions that need to be made in the HRM/payroll cycle and what information is required to make these decisions.
    • You’ve also learned about the major threats that present themselves in the HRM/payroll cycle and the controls that can be instigated to mitigate those threats.