FORENSIC ACCOUNTING provides for an accounting analysis that is suitable to a court of law which will form the basis for discussion, debate and ultimately dispute resolution. Forensic accounting encompasses investigative accounting and litigation support. Forensic accountants utilize accounting, auditing and investigative skills when conducting an investigation. Equally critical is the ability to respond immediately and to communicate financial information clearly and concisely in a courtroom setting.
SWOT ANALYSIS is one of the most used forms of business analysis. A SWOT examines and assesses the impacts of internal strengths and weaknesses, and external opportunities and threats, on the success of the "subject" of analysis. An important part of a SWOT analysis involves listing and evaluating the firms strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Each of these elements is described:
1. Strengths: Strengths are those factors that make an organization more competitive than its marketplace peers. Strengths are what the company has a distinctive advantage at doing or what resources it has that is strategic to the competition. Strengths are, in effect, resources, capabilities and core competencies that the organization holds that can be used effectively to achieve its performance objectives.
2. Weaknesses: A weakness is a limitation, fault, or defect within the organization that will keep it from achieving its objectives; it is what an organization does poorly or where it has inferior capabilities or resources as compared to the competition.
3. Opportunities: Opportunities include any favorable current prospective situation in the organizations environment, such as a trend, market, change or overlooked need that supports the demand for a product or service and permits the organization to enhance its competitive position.
4. Threats: A threat includes any unfavorable situation, trend or impending change in an organizations environment that is currently or potentially damaging or threatening to its ability to compete. It may be a barrier, constraint, or anything that might inflict problems, damages, harm or injury to the organization.
A firms strengths and weaknesses (i.e., its internal environment) are made up of factors over which it has greater relative control. These factors include the firms resources; culture; systems; staffing practices; and the personal values of the firms managers. Meanwhile, an organizations opportunities and threats (i.e., its external environment) are made up of those factors over which the organization has lesser relative control. These factors include, among others, overall demand, the degree of market saturation, government policies, economic condition, social, cultural, and ethical developments; technological developments; ecological developments, and the factors making up Porters Five Forces (i.e., intensity of rivalry, threat of new entrants, threat of substitute products, bargaining power of buyers, and bargaining power of suppliers.)
CYCLE COUNT is a partial count of a single inventory location as opposed to a Complete Count, i.e., a complete count of a single inventory location. An organization should not wait to do a complete count; usually once a year. The best way to ensure that a minimum of 97% accuracy is maintained in inventory on an ongoing basis is to continually count your products. That is, count part of your inventory every day, and count each item several times per year. This process is called "cycle counting."
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