Sunshine Center: an Instructional Case Essay

Words: 6542
Pages: 27

Vol. 25, No. 4
pp. 709–720

American Accounting Association
DOI: 10.2308/iace.2010.25.4.709

Sunshine Center: An Instructional Case
Evaluating Internal Controls in a Small
Sandra K. Fleak, Keith E. Harrison, and Laurie A. Turner
ABSTRACT: Management and auditors face increased responsibilities to evaluate internal control and assess the risk of fraud. This case provides the opportunity to evaluate internal controls and the possibility of fraud in a very small not-for-profit child care center, a setting that is easy to understand. The first goal of the case is to identify internal control weaknesses by applying the COSO internal control framework in an environment that lacks many
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At the beginning of the second year of operations under church control, all four members of the Committee indicated they would not continue on the Sunshine Center Committee. The church administrative board appointed two new members—Sarah and Olivia. Sarah, a stay-at-home mother, was new in the community and cheerfully willing to help with church activities. Olivia, a recently retired elementary school teacher, had time for volunteer activities. Sarah agreed to chair the Sunshine Center Committee and Olivia agreed to be secretary. Rev. Andrew continued as an ex officio member. The board sought, but did not find, additional church members willing to serve on the Committee.

Issues in Accounting Education
American Accounting Association

Volume 25, No. 4, 2010

Sunshine Center: An Instructional Case Evaluating Internal Controls


The Sunshine Crisis
Soon after Sarah and Olivia became involved, the Sunshine Center stopped paying rent and utilities to the church. Barb began complaining to the Committee that she was barely able to meet payroll and purchase supplies or food for the children’s lunches and snacks. She told the Committee that many parents were behind in paying their obligations to the Center.
Sensing that a crisis was looming, Sarah and Olivia decided they must become more active in their oversight of the Center to make the