Chapter 5

Chapter 5
The Expenditure Cycle
Part I: Purchases and
Cash Disbursements
Objectives for Chapter 5
• Tasks that constitute the purchases and cash
disbursement process
• Departments involved in purchases and cash
disbursement activities and the flow of these
transactions through the organization
• Documents, journals, and accounts that provide audit
trails, promote the maintenance of records, and support
decision making and financial reporting
• Exposures associated with purchase and cash
disbursements activities and the controls that reduce
these risks
• Operational features and the control implications of
technology used in purchases and cash disbursement
Purchase Requisition
Cash Disbursements
Accounts Payable
Goals of the Expenditure Cycle
• The goal of providing needed resources to
organization can be broken down into several
purchase from reliable vendors
purchase high quality items
obtain best possible price
purchase only items that are properly authorized
have resources available when they are needed
receive only those items ordered
ensure items are not lost, stolen,
or broken
– pay for the items in a timely manner
DFD of Purchases System
A Manual Purchases System
• The purchases cycle begins in the Inventory
Control department when inventory levels drop
to reorder levels.
• A clerk prepares a purchase requisition and
sends copies to Purchasing and Accounts
• The Purchasing department prepares a
purchase order for each vendor and sends
copies to Inventory Control, Accounts
Payable, Receiving (blind copy), and the
A Manual Purchases System
• Upon receipt of the goods, the Receiving
department counts and inspects the goods.
– One of the purposes of the blind copy of the
purchase order is to force the workers to count
the goods.
• A worker then prepares the receiving
report and sends copies to the raw
materials storeroom, Purchasing, Inventory
Control, and Accounts Payable.
A Manual Purchases System
• The Accounts Payable department has now received
copies of the purchase requisition, purchase order,
and receiving report.
• Upon receipt of the supplier’s invoice, Accounts
Payable reconciles all documents, posts to the
purchases journal, and records the liability in the
accounts payable subsidiary ledger.
• Periodically, the entries in the purchases journal are
summarized in a journal voucher which is sent to
the General Ledger department.
A Manual Purchases System
• The journal voucher is prepared by
Accounts Payable and sent to the General
Ledger department:
Inv-Control or Purchases DR
Accts Payable-Control
• Accounts Payable also prepares a cash
disbursements voucher and posts it in the
voucher register.
A Manual Purchases System
• The General Ledger department:
– posts from the accounts payable
journal voucher to the general ledger
– reconciles the inventory amount with
the account summary received from
inventory control
Manual Purchases System
DFD of Cash Disbursements System
Manual Cash Disbursements
• Periodically, usually daily, Accounts
Payable searches the open vouchers
payable file for items with payments
– AP sends the voucher and supporting
documents to Cash Disbursements
– AP updates the accounts payable
subsidiary ledger
Manual Cash Disbursements
• The Cash Disbursements department
– prepares the check
– records the information in a check register
(cash disbursements journal)
– returns paid vouchers to accounts payable,
mails the check to the supplier
– sends a journal voucher to General
Accounts Payable
Manual Cash Disbursements
• The General Ledger department receives:
– the journal voucher from cash
– a summary of the accounts payable
subsidiary ledger from Accounts Payable
• The journal voucher is used to update the
general ledger.
• The accounts payable control account is
reconciled with the subsidiary summary.
Cash Disbursements System
The Expenditure Cycle
• The time lag splits the expenditure
transaction cycle into two phases:
– physical phase (purchasing cycle)
– financial phase (cash disbursements)
Expenditure Cycle Database
• Master Files
– supplier (vendor) master file
– accounts payable master file
– merchandise inventory
master file
• Transaction and Open
Document Files
– purchase order file
• open purchase order file
– supplier’s invoice file
– open vouchers file
– cash disbursements file
• Other Files
– supplier reference and
history file
– buyer file
– accounts payable detail file
The Purchase Requisition
• A need for an item starts the expenditure cycle
– based on reorder point or reorder quantity
– manual: to initiate a credit purchase, someone in
the organization recognizes a need for a good or
service; an authorized person requests the good or
service using a purchase requisition form
– computerized: to initiate a credit purchase,
someone in the organization recognizes a need for
a good or service; an authorized person requests
the good or service using a terminal and a
purchase requisition screen
Computer-Based Expenditure
• Incorporates a data processing department which performs
many of the routine accounting tasks
– purchasing - a computer program identifies inventory
requirements and can use one of the following methods for
authorizing and ordering inventories
• the system prepares the POs and sends them to the
purchasing department for review, signing, and
• the system distributes the POs directly to the vendors
and internal users, bypassing the purchasing
• the system uses EDI and electronically places the order
Computer-Based Expenditure
• Other tasks performed by the computer:
– updates the inventory subsidiary file from the
receiving report, calculates batch totals for the
general ledger update procedure and then
closes the corresponding records in the open
PO file to the closed PO file
– a program validates the voucher records
against the valid vendor file, adds them to the
voucher register, and prepares batch totals for
posting to the general ledger
Computer-Based Expenditure
Applications--Cash Disbursements
• Tasks performed by the computer:
– the system scans for vouchers
currently due
– prints checks for these vouchers
– records these checks in the check
– batch totals are prepared for the
general ledger update procedure
Levels of Automating and
Re-Engineering Ordering
• Computer generates purchase
– purchase department manually generates
purchase order
• Computer generates purchase order (no
P.R. needed)
– not sent until manually reviewed
• Computer-generated P.O. is
automatically sent
• EDI--no P.O.
Internal Data Flows
External Data Flows
External Data Flows Internal Data Flows
or EFT
or EFT
Advantages of Real-Time Data Input &
Processing Over Batch Processing
• Shortens the time-lag in record-keeping;
hence, records are more current
• Eliminates much of the routine manual
procedures, such as transcribing
information onto paper documents
• Eliminates much of the storage and
shuffling of paper documents
• Reduces data entry correction procedures
Summary of Internal Controls
General Internal Controls
• Organization controls
– segregation of duties
Asset Accountability Controls
Management Practices
Data Center Operations Controls
Authorization Controls
Access Controls
Authorization Controls
• Purchases of inventory should be
authorized by the Inventory Control
department, not by purchasing agents
• Accounts Payable authorizes the
payments of bills, not the cash
disbursements clerk, who writes the
How do these controls change in a CB environment?
Computer-Based Authorization
• Authorizations are automated.
– programmed decision rules must be debugged
• Automating inventory in EDI and JIT
– faulty inventory model can lead to overpurchasing or under-purchasing
• Cash disbursements may automate check
printing and signing.
– programming logic must be flawless
– automated signing only below a dollar threshold
Segregation of Duties
Warehouse (stores)
Inventory control
Accounts payable
General ledger
Purchases returns and allowances
Cash disbursements
Segregation of Functions
• Custody of the asset, inventory, by the
Warehouse must be separate from
recordkeeping for the assets by the
Inventory Control department
• Custody of the asset, cash, by Cash
Disbursements must be kept separate
from recordkeeping for the asset by the
Accounts Payable department
How do these controls change in a CB environment?
Computer-Based Segregation
of Functions
• Extensive consolidation by the
computer of tasks traditionally
– computer programs authorize and
process purchase orders
– computer programs authorize and
issue checks to vendors
• Within the expenditure cycle,
supervision is of highest importance in
the Receiving department, where the
inventory arrives and is logged in by a
receiving clerk. Need to minimize:
– failures to properly inspect the assets
– theft of the assets
How do these controls change in a CB environment?
Computer-Based Supervision
• Automation often leads to a collapsing of
the traditional segregation of duties.
– requires greater supervision
• Supervision takes on new aspects as
technology advances.
– electronic monitoring
• Supervision because more difficult as the
workplace becomes more sophisticated.
– employees may have advanced IT training
Accounting Records
• Must maintain adequate records for:
– accounts payable
– vouchers payable
– checks
– general ledger
– subsidiary ledgers
How do these controls change in a CB environment?
Accounting Records
• Maintaining an audit trail becomes more difficult.
• Accounting records rests on reliability and security
of magnetically stored data.
– Be skeptical about accepting, on face value, the
accuracy of computer produced hard-copy printouts
of journals and ledgers.
• The system needs to ensure that backup of all files
is continuously kept.
• Traditional automated systems still have a lot of
paper documents. This is good for audit trail
purposes but is often inefficient.
– As IS becomes increasing paperless, notice the
conflict with SAS 78 objectives.
Access Controls
• Access to:
– inventories (direct)
– cash (direct)
– accounting records
How do these controls change in a CB environment?
Access Controls
• Magnetic records are vulnerable to both
authorized and unauthorized exposure
and should be protected
– must have limited file accessibility
– programs must be safeguarded and
Independent Verification
• The Accounts Payable department verifies much of
the work done within the expenditure cycle.
– Purchase requisitions, purchase orders, receiving
reports, and suppliers’ invoices must be checked and
verified by Accounts Payable.
• The General Ledger department verifies:
– the total obligations recorded equal the total inventories
– the total reductions in accounts payable equal the total
disbursements of cash
How do these controls change in a CB environment?
Independent Verification
• Automating the accounting function
reduces the need for verification by
reducing the chances of fraud and error
in the expenditure cycle.
• However, the need for verification shifts
to the computer program and the
programmers where fraud and error may
still be present.

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