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Auditing Assignment: Strategic Audit for Dorothy Perkins

Question

Task: Auditing Assignment Task: As an enterprise consultant, you are required to conduct a strategic audit for a case company [DOROTHY PERKINS OR BURTON] with the view to understand its strategic position and support its current growth strategy.

Critically evaluate the internal and external environment of the case company, with a critical application of relevant theory. You are expected to conduct and engage in broader research about the case company, ensuring the information you analyse, evaluate and present is both current and reflects the most up to date position of the organisation.

Answer

Introduction
Dorothy Perkins is an apparel brand for women. They have started in 1909 with one store and now have six hundred stores in the UK with one hundred twenty-five international outlets. They have carried on the work with different strategies and as per the regulation of the government, which also includes audit procedure. Audits are of two types in general; they are internal audit and external audit. Internal audit is mostly conducted by the company itself to have a recheck of the company's activities. The external audit is a compulsory procedure that the government imposes to know about the activities and management of the company. The company works on an international level, so it also needs to work as per international accounting standards. The International Standards on Auditing (UK) is the basic principles and procedure to be followed for the effective conduct of an audit of the financial statements of every financial year.

Internal Audit
The two types of audit include internal and external audit. Internal audits are conducted by the company itself. It is conducted to check and provide independent assurance. The internal audit's main purpose is that the management of the company and all other internal procedures are working effectively. Internal audits are very significant as it deals with the core activities that are important for the organization. It is directly related to the survival and further prosperity of the company. An internal auditor needs to assess the management risk and identify the mistakes yet not improved (Shanasirova, 2018). Also, the key role performed by an internal auditor in summarizing the mission statement to the management. Internal auditors are part of the top-level governance of the organization. Internal auditors are the independent person that provides a constructive view to the organization.

There are four types of internal audit in Garments Company like Dorothy Perkins, they are:

  • Internal QMS Audit for Technical and Quality
  • Internal Audit of Compliance
  • Internal audit of Finance
  • Internal audit of ISO

Strategic Direction
If an internal auditor is prepared in advance for the audit procedure, they get a clear direction for the activities to be performed during an audit.

  • The auditor needs to do proper research for the company, in this case, for Dorothy Perkins. To get a proper understanding of the environment of the organization.
  • Preparing the structure for the audit is the next step to be followed, for highlighting the areas of the organization where specifically more focus is required.
  • Collect all the required documents and involve management to know any other faults and errors in the organization (Steinbartet al., 2018).
  • If an advanced opinion is to be given to that management, they also do different analysis to identify the risk of the opinion.
  • Share the strategies formed with the management and other top-level seniors for its proper implementation.

Corporate Culture
In Dorothy Perkins, when only one store belongs to many other branches worldwide, it has changed tremendously. The culture in these types of corporations is the beliefs that determine how a company will handle all the workings. Offering perks, training and other facilities can help in advancing towards a good culture in the organization. As businesses are growing from local boundaries to the international level, it has to put efforts towards the organization’s culture. Progressive policies are to be followed, making all the workers align in the organization’s goal (dorothyperkins.com, 2021)[Referred to Appendix 2].

Resources and Capabilities
The resources of the organisation are the most important part of it. Ultimately, the capabilities and resources of the organisation will help attain the organisation's mission and vision. Also, bringing the organisation to an international level has led to the use of online ways to reach customers in different countries. Involving employees in the strategic planning helps organization in formulating a robust plan for audit procedure. Resources also need to be selected as per the requirement of the region the organisation is targeting for its internal audit (Hoodaet al., 2019). Using different formats for a business like a merger or amalgamation with a new company or existing ones can help make better strategies for working more effectively.

External Audit
The government conducts the external audit. It is mainly done for the organisation's external environment, which are beyond the control of the organisation. In the case of Dorothy Perkins, it is the competitors, technical skills or suppliers. The external audit is similar to the internal audit except in the dealings of the two. The external audit is related to the stakeholders of the company. There are various types of external audit:

  • Financial Audit- To provide the current status of the organisation by examining the financial statements and record.
  • Non-Financial Audit- For addressing other problems of the organisation, the auditor will examine the non-financial data of the organisation. The external audit is a more crucial process than the internal audit as it involves various factors to analyse. It helps in assessing the important opportunities that are available for the organisation. In the case of Dorothy Perkins, they could explore more than apparels or conduct various fashion shows for creating an image in public. Therefore, the auditor, with the help of the management, develops the strategies and reduces the effects of any errors or faults occurred.

Competitive Analysis
A successful strategy includes the information related to the competitors that are to be collected from many sources. There is stiff competition in the market of apparels for women, where Dorothy Perkins has to be aware of the moves of its competitors.

The economy in developed countries such as the UK is uncertain due to the concentration of so many organisation in one place. Dorothy Perkins has many competitors from all over the world. In maintaining its sustainability and earning a profit, it has to work with efficiency. The auditor needs to assess such uncertainties related to threats of the organization (FERNANDESet al., 2020). The auditor can provide a guide in managing the staff cost, being cost-efficient, attracting more customers and building a loyal relation with the clients. The auditor can aid the organisation by making them analyse their strengths and expertise in the same field.

Market Demand
The market demand of the apparel of the company creates a base for its sustenance in the market between competitors. It is also an external factor where the auditor has to survey various clients of the company to know its demand in the market. As per the demand of the product, the organisation can analyse the direction where efficiency is more required.

Customers/Users Expectations
The auditor can implement various international standards for offering variety in the service. The organisation expects to remove all errors made in the financial year by the management. Proper implementation of strategies made by the external auditor can also in knowing the expectation of the clients (Alveset al., 2020). As this market of apparels already has established companies which are high in demand in the market.

External Pressures
The organisation has to go through various pressures along with the auditor appointed for external audit. Various regulations are implied on the auditor, such as international auditing standards, rotation of auditor after every ten years, and public scrutiny. The auditor has to comply with these regulations along with performing the procedure of audit.

SWOT Analysis
This comprises the four main pillars for the organisation's success, Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat. Dorothy Perkins has also done this analysis, given below:

Strength

  • Variety in options for styling and collections in different regions.
  • Change in trend is very fast so helps expand the business.
  • International strategies of the organisation help in penetrating the market.
  • Accessible to all the market through online medium.
  • Multiple stores are opened in many countries.

Weakness

  • Difficulties in acquiring fund in the initial stages.
  • Lack of regional preference in the apparels.
  • Only fashionable and trendy western dresses are available.
  • Prices of products are very high.
  • Lack of market presence as per the demand of the product can lead to loss.

Opportunity

  • Most countries have more proportion of the young generation that can be targeted easily by the company.
  • Associating with the regional celebrities in advertising the apparels or other product can also increase the market.
  • Presenting the company strongly on social media and other platforms (Gürelet al., 2017).
  • An increase in diversities as per the local preference will also act as an opportunity for the organisation.

Threat

  • Competition from various established brands like Mango, Topshop, Miss Selfridge makes the expansion tough.
  • Competition from newly entries local brand also acts as a threat for the company.
  • Drastic changes in the taste and preference of the customers (Vlados and Chatzinikolaou, 2019).
  • The political and economic climate of every region affecting the company[Referred to Appendix 1].

Conclusion
The company conducts internal and external audits to make customers and other clients feel reliable for purchasing from the company. Also, various analysis like SWOT helps to gain a more realistic approach in improving the efficiency and expanding well in the market.

Reference List
Journals

Alves, S.R., Ribeiro, H. and Saravanan, R., 2020. THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OF TRADITIONAL FASHION RETAIL FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWTH. Economic and Social Development: Book of Proceedings, pp.236-245.

FERNANDES, S., HONÃ, I.D. and CRUCHINHO, A., 2020. FASHION REVOLUTION AS PROMOTER OF SOCIAL INNOVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY IN FASHION. Revista de Pielarie Incaltaminte, 20(1), p.51.

Gürel, E. and Tat, M., 2017. SWOT analysis: a theoretical review. Journal of International Social Research, 10(51).

Hooda, N., Bawa, S. and Rana, P.S., 2020. Optimizing fraudulent firm prediction using ensemble machine learning: a case study of an external audit. Applied Artificial Intelligence, 34(1), pp.20-30.

Shanasirova, N., 2018. THE ISSUES OF ORGANISING INTERNAL AUDIT. International Finance and Accounting, 2018(4), p.34.

Steinbart, P.J., Raschke, R.L., Gal, G. and Dilla, W.N., 2018. The influence of a good relationship between the internal audit and information security functions on information security outcomes. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 71, pp.15-29.

Vlados, C. and Chatzinikolaou, D., 2019. Towards a restructuration of the conventional SWOT analysis. Business and Management Studies, 5(2), pp.76-84.

Website
dorothyperkins.com, (2021), Dorothy Perkins, Available at: https://www.dorothyperkins.com/

Appendices
Appendix 1: SWOT Framework

Self Created in auditing assignment

(Source: Self-Created)

Appendix 2:

Self Created in auditing assignment

(Source: http://www.mas.org.uk/wellbeing-performance/adaptive_corporate_culture.html)

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