Quality Control Standards
Our firm is quality conscious and every effort is made to maintain this consciousness through our hiring practices. Every attempt is made to attract those persons who have demonstrated their academic competence by earning college degrees in both business administration and accounting.
In an effort to improve upon our quality standards, Ragland & Associates, LLC has joined the Private Practice section of the AICPA. Joining this section is strictly voluntary and in order for a firm to remain a member of this self-regulatory group, it must submit to a peer review of quality control standards. Ragland & Associates, LLC's peer review was conducted in September of 2004 and an unqualified opinion was provided.
Since we are a firm of CPAs and not just accountants, every employee, from the day he or she is hired, is encouraged to become a CPA, and acquire other certifications, such as CFE and CVA.
Our quality control standards indicate that each engagement must be planned as to the manpower requirements, time budget, review check points, supplies required, traveling time required, and the working papers required. Each engagement is supervised by a manager, and the final review is made by an officer-in-charge. There are three levels of review of each engagement: senior-in- charge, manager, and Member.
The firm also has extensive experience in accounting systems designs and installation which consists of four components: accounting controls, administrative controls, budgetary controls, and computerized accounting software.
Systems designs and installations come under our management advisory department, under the auspices of Mr. Lawrence Ragland, Member/Partner of the firm. As a result of performing auditing services, we have acquired intimate knowledge of our clients' financial and administrative problems which have been resolved either through modifying the existing accounting system or completely designing and installing new accounting systems. In our accounting systems designs, we emphasize accounting, administration, budgetary controls, and accountability.
We approach our system designs from two broad functional areas: the revenue cycle and the expenditures cycle. In the revenue cycle, we are concerned with authorization and approval of revenue transactions such as cash receipts, collection procedures, billing, accounting for revenues, etc.; and in the expenditures cycle, we are concerned with the authorization and approval of the purchasing, payroll and disbursement functions. In order to emphasize accounting controls over these functions, we provide for segregation of duties insuring that different employees handle different parts of the same transaction for effective control.
We separate controls into three categories: support, implementation and operations. We are mainly concerned that employees are given proper directions through adequate job descriptions and supervision for purposes of accomplishing the company's or program's overall objectives. Further, we attempt to insure, through proper system design, that the company or program implements and maintains all operating procedures to insure maximum utilization of all economic resources. In this function, we stress effective feedback procedures to emphasize administrative controls.
Budgetary control, we feel, is an important aspect of an effective accounting system and we, therefore, include it as part of the accounting system design. The budget allows the company or organization to measure its performance against pre-determined goals and objectives, and provides a basis for more effectively evaluating utilization of economic resources with emphasis on accountability. All of the accounting systems which we have designed are written in simple language, documented, and accompanied with a flow chart of the entire system. Accounting manuals are developed and explained to the client.