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Accounting Control

Accounting Control

What Are Accounting Controls?

Accounting controls comprises of the methods and procedures that are carried out by a firm to assist with guaranteeing the legitimacy and precision of its financial statements. The accounting controls don't guarantee compliance with laws and regulations, yet rather are designed to assist a company with working in the best conceivable way for all stakeholders.

Grasping Accounting Controls

The purpose of executing accounting controls in a firm is to guarantee that all areas in an organization stay away from fraud and different issues, further develop effectiveness, precision, and compliance. Each firm will have different accounting controls in place, contingent upon their type of business, nonetheless, there are three traditional areas that are the most common with regards to accounting controls: detective controls, preventive controls, and corrective controls.

Types of Accounting Controls

Detective Controls

The controls in this category are intended to search out any current practices that don't line up with the policies and procedures in place. The goal here is to find any areas that are not working as they should, assuming that employees are coincidentally or purposefully practicing erroneous or unlawful actions, or identifying any errors in systems or accounting practices. Instances of detective controls would incorporate inventory checks and internal audits.

Preventive Controls

Preventive controls are essentially the controls that have been put in place by an organization to stay away from any mistakes or wrong practices. These are the policies and procedures that all employees must follow.

An illustration of a preventive control would be restricting management's contribution in the readiness of financial statements. Once in a while it's useful for management to be involved since they generally understand the company better than anybody. In any case, last say on numbers ought to be in the hands of a accountant, since management might have the incentive to distort numbers to swell the company's performance.

This thought is carried out all through an organization as the separation of duties, where employees have various tasks that don't overlap in areas of reporting or auditing, for instance.

Corrective Controls

As the name recommends, corrective controls are put in place to fix any issues found through detective controls. These can likewise incorporate curing any issues made on accounting books after the audit interaction has been completed by an accountant.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act's Impact on Accounting Controls

Following several high profile corporate accounting outrages at Enron, Tyco, and WorldCom, from 2000 to 2002, regulators wanted to introduce another period of elevated financial and operational conventions. To reestablish investor trust, it was widely accepted that another culture was required. A large group of accounting and financial reporting breakdowns were at that point in place, however the most major problems included auditor irreconcilable circumstances, weak boardrooms, clashes among security analysts, limited resources at regulatory agencies, and executive compensation, to give some examples.

To assist with addressing these issues, the U.S. Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002. The federal law laid out new or expanded requirements for all U.S. public company boards, management, and public accounting firms. The bill set forward expected liabilities of a public organization's board of directors, added criminal punishments for certain wrongdoing, and required the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make regulations that defined how public corporations must conform to the law.

Accounting control systems don't work under one size fits all situations. Research on the relationship between business strategies and accounting-based control systems tracks down organizational design and corporate culture to play a huge job in a business' prosperity. Consensus concurs that to amplify firm performance, accounting control systems ought to be designed explicitly to suit the unique business strategies of various substances.


  • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is a piece of regulation drafted to guarantee financial reporting dodges any fraudulent activity.
  • Accounting controls are put in place to guarantee a firm operates proficiently, aboveboard, and gives accurate financial statements.
  • The compliance with laws and regulations are not the purpose of accounting controls, yet rather to assist a company with being the best variant of itself for all partners.
  • The three principal areas of accounting controls are detective controls, preventive controls, and corrective controls.