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This paper uses the results of a questionnaire survey to conduct exploratory research into the importance of product costs in decision-making. The results of the research…
This paper uses the results of a questionnaire survey to conduct exploratory research into the importance of product costs in decision-making. The results of the research reveal that product costs are at least important in selling price, make-or-buy, cost reduction, product design, evaluating new production process and product discontinuation decisions. Product costs that were used directly in decision-making were more important than those that were used as attention directing information and they were more important in product mix, output level and product discontinuation decisions in continuous production processes manufacturing. In general, the importance of product costs in decision-making did not vary between the methods used to allocate and assign overheads to product costs, and it was not related to operating unit size, product differentiation, competition and the level of satisfaction with the product costing system.
This paper discusses the contribution and value of research into human resource management issues as they affect auditors and audit firms, and to identify areas for future…
This paper discusses the contribution and value of research into human resource management issues as they affect auditors and audit firms, and to identify areas for future research. The contribution and areas for future research are identified in terms of four areas, namely career development, staffing patterns, the multi‐disciplinery global firm, and the management structure and practice as they relate to audit firms. This is followed by a discussion about the value of this research. In the conclusion the paper argues for future research to adopt a greater sociological and organizational perspective, including studies which work shadow auditors and audit teams, and longitudinal studies.
Reports the findings of a pilot survey into how product costs are calculated and how they are used in decision making in manufacturing industry in the UK. The survey…
Reports the findings of a pilot survey into how product costs are calculated and how they are used in decision making in manufacturing industry in the UK. The survey examines how many accounting systems firms use, blanket overhead rates in product costing; the bases used to calculate overhead rates; the application of product costs in decision making; and profitability maps. The results show that a variety of methods are used to calculate product costs and that they are used to a significant extent in decision making.
The Sudan Companies Act 1925 is outdated. There is a need for substantial revision to the Act either in accordance with, for example, current UK legislation, or a…
The Sudan Companies Act 1925 is outdated. There is a need for substantial revision to the Act either in accordance with, for example, current UK legislation, or a framework more directly suited to the economic and legal environment of the Sudan. At a general level this should include the preparation of a profit and loss account, specific formats for the profit and loss account and balance sheet, notes to the accounts and an auditor’s report stating whether or not the accounts give a true and fair view of the state of a company’s affairs.
The purpose of this chapter is to identify the most appropriate ways of defining the adoption and non-adoption of activity-based costing (ABC). This chapter uses the…
The purpose of this chapter is to identify the most appropriate ways of defining the adoption and non-adoption of activity-based costing (ABC). This chapter uses the responses to a questionnaire survey of management accountants working in British manufacturing industry to test if there are differences across various definitions of adoption and non-adoption in the level of competition, product customization, manufacturing overhead cost percentage and operating unit size. When there are no significant differences between the groups making up each definition this indicates that the definition is appropriate and can be used to define adoption or non-adoption. The results of the research show that the only appropriate definition for ABC adoption is operating units that are currently using ABC. It is possible to define non-adoption in three ways as operating units that are not using ABC, but have considered it; those that are not using ABC, but have considered it except those intending to use it; and those that have rejected ABC, but have never adopted activity-based principles or have never previously used ABC. Comparisons between these two groups show that operating units that have adopted ABC are significantly larger than non-adopters, regardless of how non-adoption is defined. Prior research into the adoption of ABC has used a variety of definitions for the adoption and non-adoption of ABC without examining the appropriateness of these definitions. This chapter overcomes this deficiency by empirically testing the most appropriate definitions.
This paper reviews prior research to consider whether there are differences in human resource management terms between auditors and other categories of professional staff…
This paper reviews prior research to consider whether there are differences in human resource management terms between auditors and other categories of professional staff within accounting and audit firms, for example those working in taxation or management consultancy. The review reveals conflicting results regarding the extent of these differences, which leaves open the question of whether research results in the human resource field can be generalized across all functions within an accounting and audit firm. We speculate that whereas in the past the similarities between functional groups may have outweighed any differences, increasingly this will no longer be the case.
This paper uses questionnaires from and interviews to examine the level of co‐operation and co‐ordination between directors of internal audit departments, and partners and…
This paper uses questionnaires from and interviews to examine the level of co‐operation and co‐ordination between directors of internal audit departments, and partners and managers in external audit firms in Saudi Arabian companies. The results revealed that external auditors expressed concern about the independence, scope of work and small size of many internal audit departments. Internal auditors considered co‐operation between internal and external audits to be limited, although external auditors were more positive about the extent of co‐operation when the internal audit department was of high quality. The extent of reliance by the external auditor on the work of the internal auditor varied with the quality of the internal audit department. External auditors suggested that the objectivity, competence and work experience were important factors affecting the reliance decision. They felt that the internal audit function in many Saudi companies lacked professionalism and independence from management, which adversely affected its work and the potential for reliance thereon.
A recent symposium was given by Sir William Savage, M.D., B.Sc., D.P.H., Mr. Morley Parry, M.R.San.I., M.S.I.A., Ministry of Food Hygiene Division, and Mr. A. Tyler, M.B.E., F.R.San.I., F.S.I.A., Chief Sanitary Inspector, Bath, to a meeting of health officers and representatives of the food trades. The subsequent discussion demonstrated the divergent views held in relation to food hygiene legislation and the conflict between ideals and practicability. Sir William, in his opening observations, speaking from the scientific aspect, showed a remarkably realistic approach to the problem. He referred primarily to the report of the Catering Trade Working Party and what are generally considered to be the three most valuable recommendations, the most important of which is that all catering establishments should be required to register with the appropriate authority; the second is that a special code of practice, called the Standard Code, should be defined and made legally enforceable; the third is that the existing deficiencies in legal powers as set out in the report should be removed by legislation. In dwelling for a short while on the Model Byelaws which the Ministry of Food issued in 1949, reference was made to the fact that, whilst it is appreciated that they cannot go beyond their limited purpose, many deficiencies are obvious. They have very limited practicability, being mainly concerned with requirements as to personal cleanliness of those who handle food, the protection of food from various possible sources of contamination, and certain requirements as to the wrapping of foods. These are all sound enough, but only touch the fringe of the problem. Whilst precise definitions are always most difficult in legal documents, especially when dealing with hygienic factors, the byelaws are particularly vague, as will be seen from the following examples: A person who handles food “ shall observe cleanliness both in regard to himself and his clothing ”. There is no definition of cleanliness and no subsequent requirements to attain it, such as the Catering Report sets out in its Target Code. Food should be covered in certain circumstances with “ suitable, clean material ”. Does a newspaper comply? Counters, floors, food utensils have to be cleaned “ as often as may be reasonably necessary ”. In the Standard and Target Codes these requirements are usually detailed, and so uniform, standard meanings can be accepted. In addition, the byelaws entirely fail to deal with the essentials of sound food hygiene. As the powers of the original Act were effected long before 1938, the standards are primarily those of visible cleanliness. We know now, however, that clean food is not necessarily safe food. This is abundantly demonstrated by the enormous increase, year by year, of recorded cases of food poisoning, most of it by food which would pass every standard of cleanliness for sight, smell and taste. All experts agree that, in the catering establishments, as the standard code requires, “ abundant supplies of water, both hot and cold, must be available ”. It is obvious that cleanliness to the point of freedom from pathogenic bacteria cannot be obtained otherwise, and sufficient sinks for washing must be available. Neither the Act nor the byelaws can enforce powers in this respect. It is sufficient, at present, to provide a gas‐ring and bucket of water in a food manufacturing room, and nothing more can be legally demanded. Sir William stressed that, if safe food was wanted and it was desired to reduce the present high toll of food poisoning, Local Authorities must be given adequate powers. Mr. Morley Parry confined his observations primarily to the defence of the model byelaws of the Ministry of Food, and his remarks admirably reflected the attitude of his particular division. He stated that, generally, we must admit that, within the past few years, the Public Health outlook of the man in the street has been developed along lines and to a degree for which sanitarians might have prayed, but for which they dared not hope, and that, for once, their opinions did not, in the main, lag behind the ideals of health officers. He qualified this, however, by stating that he was apprehensive of the fact that food hygiene might become a matter of glib phrases and catchwords, and that the public had quite readily seized on a few frequently repeated phrases that are but part of the food hygiene facts. He said that in the present position, at least theoretically, it should not be difficult to advance quickly to complete success. He deplored the entirely restrictive character of the previous set of model byelaws issued by the Ministry of Health in 1939, and said that the era of the sanitary policeman had gone, and thought it surprising that suggestions of punitive and restrictive legislation should be essential to success. He did not state how, with only permissive legislation, one would deal with the recalcitrant trader who would spend considerable amounts of money on a splendid shop‐front, but would remain content with a bucket and gas‐ring in his food manufacturing room; or how the progressive trader would view this unfair competition. In support of his argument he quoted what he termed the wonderful old phrase “ any premises in such a state as to be prejudicial to health ” and declared that the whole basis of the success of a sanitary officer's work in Public Health was built up by their predecessors on this one ambiguous phrase. He stated that the Ministry had three standards of judgment when any deviation or new byelaw was adjusted. The first was the essential practicability and reasonableness of the demand; secondly, whether the demand could be enforced with existing public health establishments; and, thirdly, that the deviation and new byelaw meet with general acceptance in the locality or be a prime necessity because of some specific local circumstance. Mr. Tyler reviewed the problem, and, having dealt with the wide adoption of the new byelaws, stated that this demonstrated that Local Authorities were prepared to make full use of the powers available. He also put some very pregnant questions as to whether the new food byelaws were an improvement on the powers possessed prior to their coming into operation, and whether they were adequate to deal effectively with the problem. He stated that the consensus of opinion among sanitary officers and food manufacturers in general was that the policeman attitude was certainly not enough. The majority of Authorities, however, were running extensive food hygiene courses for personnel employed in such work, the public, and, in some cases, children of school‐leaving age. He cited the stringent legislation in other countries which had resulted in an extremely high standard in food premises, and, although the legal penalties were extremely severe, they were rarely invoked. The subsequent discussion on this symposium showed that the opinions of the meeting, including many representatives of the food trades, were in favour of effective legislation, providing that this was lucid and equitable, and that Local Authorities must have adequate powers to deal with the very small minority of traders and manufacturers on whom advice and requests were wasted, and from whom the public must be protected. It is undoubtedly preferable to have legislation capable of a specific interpretation than a series of vague terms, such as “ reasonably necessary ”, “ suitable and efficient”, or “ a reasonable distance ”, which entail court cases to determine what exactly is meant by them. Such terms are capable of wide variations of interpretation, not only by the food trade but by the Public Health officers, resulting in a wide divergence of interpretation amongst Local Authorities.