Advancing internal control effectiveness at ghana education service: do coso model variables matter?

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This study examines whether the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) model’s variables drive the effectiveness of internal control systems at Ghana Education Service (GES) due to the high increased demand for high-quality financial reporting and also, knowing the recent public outcry of corporate governance scandals and the ill use of public funds in some educational institutions in Ghana. The study used descriptive and quantitative approaches or methods to analyse the responses. Also, primary data using structured questionnaires were used to achieve the research objectives or questions stipulated for the study. The study found that four major factors (control environment and risk assessment activities, control activities and monitoring activities) were the contributing factors of the COSO model driving the effectiveness of GES in Ghana. The study recommended that there should be proper training and education on the use of modern technology or computerized accounting systems that can help internal control officials to detect financial omissions, monitor risk, and ensure internal control effectiveness. Management of GES Directorates should immediately develop a backup system for all data to safeguard the future total breakdown of the systems. Also, management should establish communication tools for members to channel any alleged improprieties for immediate action, and top managers and directors should involve all stakeholders of the directorates in making decisions. In addition to the above, the finance and administration as well as account office units should fully adobt the internal auditing and financial reporting standards such as ISA, IPSAS, IFRS and others in reporting accounting information. Management should liaise with professional accounting and auditing officials to help train the staff of Directorates on how to implement and comply with current international accounting and auditing standards. Finally, external audits should be done quarterly and not annually, and recommendations should be implemented by stakeholders.
A thesis submitted to department of accounting and finance, kwame nkrumah university of science and technology, kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of master of science (accounting and finance option)