The assistant finance director for the city of Tustin, California, was fired after city officials discovered that she had used her access to city computers to cancel her daughter’s $300 water bill. An investigation revealed that she had embezzled a large sum of money from Tustin in this manner over a long period. She was able to conceal the embezzlement for so long because the amount embezzled always fell within a 2% error factor used by the city’s internal auditors. What weaknesses existed in the audit approach? How could the audit plan be improved? What internal control weaknesses were present in the system? Should Tustin’s internal auditors have discovered this fraud earlier?
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