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Accounting

27th Edition
WARREN + 5 others
ISBN: 9781337272094

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Accounting

27th Edition
WARREN + 5 others
ISBN: 9781337272094
Textbook Problem

Internal controls

One of the largest losses in history from unauthorized securities trading involved a securities trader for the French bank Societe Generale. The trader was able to circumvent internal controls and create more than $7 billion in trading losses in six months. The trader apparently escaped detection by using knowledge of the bank’s internal control systems learned from a previous back-office monitoring job. Much of this monitoring involved the use of software to monitor trades. In addition, traders were usually kept to tight trading limits. Apparently, these controls failed in this case.

What general weaknesses in Societe Generale’s internal controls contributed to the occurrence and size of the losses?

To determine

Internal Control: Internal control refers to the policies, and plans of the business organization along with other measures with a view to safeguard its assets, encourage the employees to adhere to the plans, to improve on the operational efficiency, and to ensure correct and reliable accounting information. Internal control is a process which ensures continuous reliability of accomplishment of a company’s objectives, related to operations, financial reporting, and in conformity with laws and regulations.

The following are the some of the internal control procedures:

  • Competent personnel, rotating duties, and mandatory vacations
  • Separating responsibilities for related operations
  • Separating operations, custody of assets, and accounting
  • Proofs and security measures

To state: The general weakness in SG’s internal controls contributed to the occurrence and size of losses.

Explanation

The SG trading losses explain the fall in the internal control and the further consequences that occur.

When the losses are too large and thus cannot be made out of sight.  Thus, primarily, separation of duties is to be overcome by the traders’ knowledge on the monitoring of the software...

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