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1 Introduction and Assessment
What is ICAS? The Internal Control and Accounting Systems (ICAS) unit requires students to write a 3500-4000 word report to show their knowledge of internal controls within a business and evaluating accounting systems. This unit is your opportunity to showcase the skills and knowledge you have acquired through your examinable units of the AAT. You will be required to identify areas of weakness that could lead to errors in the accounts, and to assess the potential for fraud to occur. You will have to describe recommendations to address these issues and detail their costs and benefits. Your report will have section and paragraph numbers that you will use to complete a mapping document, showing how your report covers the AAT requirements. You should also provide a letter (witness testimony) to confirm that your report is all your own work. If required you may also have some verbal questioning in a final interview to confirm authenticity. ICAS is a compulsory unit and key to obtaining the level 4 qualification for AAT. Your report should be written with a good standard of business English and must be word processed to show professional presentation.
Theme It is up to you to choose the theme of your report. This involves choosing the company that you will base your report on. If you are currently employed this could be the business where you work. If you are not currently employed then you can use previous employment experiences (up to a maximum of two years old). As noted above, your employer will need to write a letter to authenticate the report. Alternatively, the AAT provides a case study for those who have no relevant work experience. In this scenario your assessor will authenticate your report. Once you have chosen your theme you will need to identify all or part of an accounting function that has or is experiencing problems; this could range from budgeting, stock control, payroll, petty cash, expenses, credit control etc. You need to identify where these problems could lead to errors in the accounts and where there is potential fraud risk.
The AAT case studies are written to have several areas of weakness. This is to ensure that the reports received by assessors highlight different areas, which aids authentication. If you are using a case study, you are not expected to fix all of the weaknesses; you should choose one area to focus your report on. If you try to write about too many areas then you will not be able to cover the criteria in full and keep within the word count. If your report will be based on your workplace then must respect your employee’s duty of confidentiality to your employer. Your employer may allow you to name your firm alternatively you can give the organisation a false name. The report must be objective and not a vent for personal feelings.
Mentor, Witness and Assessor roles The AAT recommend that if you are writing about your workplace, you ask someone at work to mentor you. They do not have to be a line manager; they could help with ideas, proof reading, and motivating you to meet your deadlines. They should not write the report for you! If writing about your workplace AAT require us to obtain a letter from your line manager to confirm the report is factually correct and your own work. This is called a Witness Testimony. If you are using the case study your assessor will authenticate your work and write a Witness Testimony for you. Your Kaplan assessor will give feedback on your plan and your report and offer formative guidance if required (see below on Assessment).
Assessment and LearnPlus Firstly your plan will be assessed to ensure you have the core areas of research completed. This can be...