The Family Support Center is a small charitable organization. It has only four full-time employees: two staff, an accountant, and an office manager. The majority of its funding comes from two campaign drives, one in the spring and one in the fall. Donors make pledges over the telephone. Some donors pay their pledge by credit card during the telephone campaign, but many prefer to pay in monthly installments by check. In such cases, the donor pledges are recorded during the telephone campaign and they are then mailed pledge cards. Donors mail their contributions directly to the charity. Most donors send a check, but occasionally some send cash. Most donors return their pledge card with their check or cash donation, but occasionally the Family Support Center receives anonymous cash donations. The procedures used to process donations are as follows:
Sarah, one of the staff members who has worked for the Family Support Center for 12 years, opens all mail. She sorts the donations from the other mail and prepares a list of all donations, indicating the name of the donor (or anonymous), amount of the donation, and the pledge number (if the donor returned the pledge card). Sarah then sends the list, cash, and checks to the accountant.
The accountant enters the information from the list into the computer to update the Family Support Center’s files. The accountant then prepares a deposit slip (in duplicate) and deposits all cash and checks into the charity’s bank account at the end of each day. No funds are left on the premises overnight. The validated deposit slip is then filed by date. The accountant also mails an acknowledgment letter thanking each donor. Monthly, the accountant retrieves all deposit slips and uses them to reconcile the Family Support Center’s bank statement. At this time, the accountant also reviews the pledge files and sends a follow-up letter to those people who have not yet fulfilled their pledges.
Each employee has a computer workstation that is connected to the internal network. Employees are permitted to surf the Web during lunch hours. Each employee has full access to the charity’s accounting system, so that anyone can fill in for someone else who is sick or on vacation. Each Friday, the accountant makes a backup copy of all computer files. The backup copy is stored in the office manager’s office.
a. Identify two major control weaknesses in the Family Support Center’s cash receipts procedures. For each weakness you identify, suggest a method to correct that weakness. Your solution must be specific—identify which specific employees should do what. Assume that no new employees can be hired
b. Describe the IT control procedures that should exist in order to protect the Family Support Center from loss, alteration, or unauthorized disclosure of data.