Assessment of Internal Controls at the Social Security and National Insurance Trust: A Study of the Kumasi Area Office

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Internal control is a major part of managing an organization. Internal control is not one event, but a series of actions and activities that occur throughout an entity’s operations and on an ongoing basis. There is therefore the need to recognize it as an integral part of each system that management uses to regulate and guide its operations rather than as a separate system within an agency. The study thus is an assessment of internal controls at the Social Security and National Insurance Trust to ascertain the level of compliance to known standards. Among the objectives was to examine the nature of control environment to ascertain how it promotes internal control. The study uses the Kumasi area office of SSNIT as a case study. The qualitative method was used. Interviews and questionnaires were instruments used in gathering the needed data. A sample size of 110 respondents was used. The assessment of SSNIT’s internal controls was based on a COSO framework. The framework uses defined assessment factors that are rated on a scale to indicate their strength or otherwise. The study found active concern and effort to ensure compliance with standards, laws and regulations. In addition, management showed effort to get the job done right. Effectively, realistic budgets are established and results are actively monitored. However, financial accountability is given low priority. There is the need therefore for management to be responsible for the establishment of internal controls to keep their institutions on course toward its financial goals, to help it achieve its mission, to minimize surprises and risks, and to allow the organization to successfully deal with change.
A thesis submitted to the Institute of Distance Learning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology In partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Commonwealth Executive Masters of Business Administration,