AN EVALUATION OF EFFECTIVENESS OF INTERNAL CONTROL SYSTEM IN SELECTED DISTRICT COUNCILS IN THE CENTRAL REGION OF MALAWI
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This study evaluated the effectiveness of internal control system and the level of accountability in selected district councils in the central region in Malawi using the committee of sponsoring organization of the Treadway commission (COSO) internal control framework. The COSO internal control framework consist of five interrelated elements which include: control environment, risk assessment, control activities, information and communication, and monitoring. The variables in the study were internal control and accountability. The variables under accountability focused on the internal control objectives which included safeguarding of assets, reliability in financial reporting and effectiveness and efficient operations. The research was a case study design, and it used descriptive and correlational methods. The study also used regression to find the best predictor of accountability of the five components in the COSO internal control framework. Data was collected using questionnaires. Respondents were 101 out of 105 accountants and internal auditors of the selected district councils. The study used the SPSS in the analysis of the data collected. The findings from this study demonstrated ineffectiveness in the internal control system of the selected district councils. The study also demonstrated there is a significant relationship between accountability and internal control activities. The study findings indicated that information and communication and control environment are the best predictors of accountability. The study concluded that an ineffective internal control system results in realizing poor accountability. It was recommended that the local government authority should find effective ways to eliminate potential of fraud and misuse of council resources such as encouraging people to report such practices when they occur. The council management should be committed to integrity and ethical values and that should be emphasized to the rest of the employees.
- SCHOOL OF BUSINESS