Employee theft is big business. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, employee dishonesty costs American business in excess of $50 billion annually. The most common types of employee theft, as reported by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), are larceny/embezzlement, skimming, fraudulent disbursements and stealing business opportunities.
To help small businesses deal with many of these issues through training, Lake Superior College is offering a new accounting class, Internal Control Environment, this spring semester. To provide scheduling flexibility for business owners, the three-credit class is available in the classroom starting Jan. 11 on Thursdays from 2-4:50 p.m. or is also available completely online, starting Jan. 8.
“Small business owners will greatly benefit from this training and you can take the entire class completely online,” said LSC accounting instructor Camerin Hochhalter. “This course will educate management on how to develop internal controls, including policies and safeguards, for their company to protect their company’s assets from inappropriate use or theft.”
The hands-on internal control environment course will introduce students to the responsibilities of management, internal auditors, and external auditors to the internal control environment and the COSO (The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission) framework.
Students will work in teams to carry out a project plan to evaluate, test and document both activity and entity level controls. The team will prepare a report evaluating control deficiencies and internal control effectiveness.
Upon completion of the report, students will apply their knowledge of internal controls to more specific areas of cash receipts (revenue cycles, accounts receivable and billing, cash receipts, and financial reporting) and cash disbursements (acquisition cycles, disbursement cycles, and payroll/expense reimbursement). Students will work in teams to assess the effectiveness of internal controls and design and implement controls to protect assets.