Student Forums CMA Part 1 Section E: Internal Controls E.1. Governance, Risk, and Compliance Exam succes question about segregation of duties

Exam succes question about segregation of duties

  • This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 3 years ago by Brian Hock.
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  • #106929
    Alexey Gnoevoy


    can you help me please to understand the difference between two Exam Succes questions:

    (1) CMA 1286 3.29 – One characteristic of an effective internal control structure is the proper segregation of duties. The combination of responsibilities that would not be considered a violation of segregation of functional responsibilities is
    Correct answer: “Timekeeping and preparaition of payroll”

    (2) CIA 1188 II 24 – “One payroll audit objective is to determine if there is proper segregation of duties. Which of the following activities are incompatible?”
    Correct answer: “Prepairing attendance data and prepaitring the payroll”

    In my mind those question are opposite to each other, but yeat they deliver the same correct answer. I am confised, so can you help to undesrtand the difference please?

    Than You!

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  • #106937
    Brian Hock
    HOCK international

    These are certainly two questions that appear very similar and you are not alone in your question.

    The difference is this – Timekeeping is the actual recording of the time that someone worked, recording when they start and stop. Preparing attendance data is taking the information that someone else has collected and totaling the hours, or confirming them, or something other than actually recording the time worked.

    I understand that this is a minor difference, but it is an important one.

    If this does not make much sense, I would not worry about it. These are an example of how difficult these internal control questions can be because of their nature.

    I hope that this helps.


    Alexey Gnoevoy

    Brian, Thank you! Now i understand.

    Alexey Gnoevoy


    find question that confuse me further more, can you help me to undestand please?

    CMA 690 5.8 “Organizational independence in the processing of payroll is achieved by functional separations that are built into the system. Which one of the following functional separations is not required for internal control purposes?”
    My answer: “Separation of timekeeping from payroll operation”
    Correct answer: “Separation of payroll preparation and maintance of year-to-date records”

    Same as CMA 1286 3.29, but this time it was incorrect answer, and it confuses me.

    Thank you!

    Brian Hock
    HOCK international


    I am not sure that I will be able to explain how they are different, because I am not sure that they are.

    In this question, What they have as the correct answer is certainly a better answer than what was the correct answer for the other question. The correct answer is saying that you do NOT need to separate the preparation of payroll with the maintaining of year-to-date records. Since that is in many ways the same thing, they do not need to be separated.

    Why in this question they have timekeeping and payroll not needing to be separated – I do not know. Sorry that I do not have a better explanation, or any explanation.

    One thing to keep in mind is that you need to select the best answer. In this case, the correct answer is a better answer even if you could argue that what you chose is correct.

    I feel that this is one of the most difficult individual topics on the exam because of this uncertainty inherent in it.


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