Super Value grocery, located on Post road, is part of the Atlantic Super Value large scale grocery store. The Super Value chain is own by Loblaws Incorporated. During our visit on Friday February 7th 1997, we observed the following control procedures used by the firm in order to use their resources effectively and to provide the managers with accurate accounting information. The large scale food distributor uses scanners at every cash register. The use of such device provide a better and easier control over its inventory. Because the scanning devices are all linked to the main computer, managers can therefore obtain up to date statements and inventory reports to maintain their inventory at levels that a just in time system can be used. Another advantage of the scanners is in term of time spent by a customer at the check out point. It provides a faster services, which every client does appreciate. The last but not the least advantages that was observed in relation with the use of the scanners is the impossibility of fraud by any way. Given that every item has a bar code, it makes it impossible to switch the price tag from another item to the item desired. Super Value uses a point-of-sale bar code system, the codes include time, date, and location data in addition to identification data; the information makes them useful for analyzing the movement of items and determining what has happened to them during production or other processes. As bar code provides good control over transaction, scanners make fewer than 1 error in every 10,000 transactions, whereas keypunchers make about 1 error every 1,000 keystrokes. The arrival of bar code has given firms a better control of their resources. During our observation at Super Value s control systems we have noticed the use of different security systems. The most commonly and widely use in the retail business are the video cameras. At Super Value the camera are located at such points that they will protect the expensive and most attractive items to theft such as Compact Discs, video cassettes, cigarettes and drugs. Because of our broad observation we will assume that the cameras are connected to VCRs that record the images on a daily basis. Another accessory used to secure the firm from stealing is a motion detector operated door, which makes it impossible for a person from walking out of the store using the entrance door. The ultimate observance we have noticed are the mirrors placed at the check out counters. The usage of reflectors make possible for the cashier to have a look at the bottom section of the shopping cart. Without being very apparent to the customer this tool is very effective.
In order to ensure that the store will receive money from cheques, cards are issued that prove that the customers actually have money. By having cheques pre-approved, the store will gladly accept cheques as long as the customer reveals their clientele card. This also eliminates hassle to the customer. When a cash pick-up is made from the cash register, two people are assigned, usually the cashier in function and a supervisor. One is doing the collecting while the other watches. This method prevents employee theft, as long as the two employees do not conspire together to steal money. On top of this, each cashier is responsible for the amount of money in his till. Compared to other stores of its kind, Super Value has open work areas. e.g. ( meat section). With customers being able to see what is going on, these areas must be kept extremely clean. The employees have less incentive to cut corners on whatever they are working on. Having a clean area also prevents accidents from happening. In terms of keeping food fresh, we observed two control devices. For frozen food, there were thermometers in the freezers to constantly monitor the temperature. In the produce section there were automatic sprinklers that sprayed the food at regular intervals to keep it fresh. These methods help to ensure that there is little or no waste. Staff at Super Value seems to look well trained and competent. Telephones by cash are provided to cashier if they need any assistance from the manager or supervisor. A rotation of employee from one job assignment to another may strengthen internal control. When employees know that another person will soon take over their duties, they are more likely to maintain records with care and to follow established procedures with attention. Managers office is located near the cash registers, which provide managers a quick access to help cashiers and other employees as well as keep an eye on them. By observing Super Value store we can conclude that it has an extremely high efficient control system. This is protecting its resources against waste, fraud and theft. It is also securing compliance with management s policies by utilizing a panoply of security mechanisms. On the other hand, the utilization of a computer based accounting system offers useful and up to date financial information to decision makers.