Associated Grain is a Dalby (Queensland) based business that markets Australia’s best grains and pulses to the world. They started business in the 1950s and through hard work and determination have grown to become the preferred merchant for seed breeders, growers and retailers throughout Queensland and New South Wales.
The last five years have been particularly exciting and has seen significant and rapid growth. However, as is often the case in fast growing businesses, the flip side to their success is that management has had neither the time nor the know-how to increase the scale and sophistication of their financial controls in line with growth.
MGI first met the team at Associated Grain two years ago when their business became large enough to be required under the Corporations Act Legislation to require a statutory audit.
In addition to providing two years of auditing services, MGI have been a valued partner offering recommendations for improvements and to reduce underlying risks.
We feel they really understand our business
Associated Grain Finance Manager Michael Reilly said MGI had supported them through a fair share of change in the past few years.
“MGI understand our business, and the agribusiness industry as a whole, and have the skills and expertise to understand our complex accounting and tax issues,” Michael said.
“They have been flexible in performing their audit procedures around our changes, which was very important to us.
“At audit time they always have a senior member of their team on site to ensure everything is running efficiently and to schedule,” he said.
Assistance when we have required it
As with all clients MGI has made sure that they are available to support Associated Grain as they need it.
“The MGI Audit Manager Steve is always available when we need help and his service is
second to none,” Michael said.
There have been times where I have needed to draw on his expertise every few weeks. It’s never a problem. Steve is always willing to help,” he said.
Valued recommendations to improve our internal control systems
Having grown from a small family business, Associated Grain needed much more sophisticated internal control processes to ensure that they met all compliance requirements and minimised the risk of fraud or error going undetected.
As part of the audit process, MGI identified a number of internal control risks and provided guidance on how to address these.
This has included bringing to the client’s attention more than 30 key processes that needed to be tightened to further segregate duties within key accounting functions and improve inventory management.
“These value added recommendations outlined exactly what we should do to reduce risks; risks that we hadn’t considered because they hadn’t created any problems for our organisation yet but that were leaving us potentially exposed.
“We have been able to mitigate a number of these by following MGI’s advice,” Michael said.
Guidance on the implementation of software to reduce risk
Additional software was required by the client to address the shortcomings of the current system and better improve internal controls. MGI has provided guidance on the implementation of this software and helped to ensure risks during this process were mitigated.
MGI identified system glitches around inventory pricing and discounts. This was resulting in an overstatement of inventory which if left unchecked would have caused a misstatement in inventory.
Would you recommend MGI?
“MGI’s level of client service sets them apart. I would definitely recommend them especially to other businesses within the agricultural industry,” Michael said.