Internship at Najran Cement Company
My experience at the Najran Cement Company served as a basis for obtaining valuable experience in the field of finance and accounting. The exposure I gained from the internship is essential in introducing me to my preferred career as an accountant and fiance executive. The tasks, which were delegated, were easy to execute because they were simplified by the presence of technology-based products for execution of various financial and accounting functions in the organization. The tasks were difficult given that, this was my first time to work within a financial environment in an organization.
My duties and responsibilities as a Finance Assistant were simple and direct. I was tasked with ensuring the processing of payments of all contracts, services and invoices accrued by the organization. This was easy as I was only tasked with entry of information in precise accounts for the clients. In addition, I was also delegated with the ensuring that the accounts receivables were updated upon receipt of funds from the clients. Accounts receivables were amounts related to services or sales of goods on credit that were owed to the organization by the debtors. In recording these amounts, I was also tasked with ensuring that the amounts were recorded in the respective sales daybook. This is essential in that it also provides for amounts of discounts given the debtors for their respective purchases. This is an essential phase of accounting as the organization is dependent on the services and goods offered to clients. Hence, the accounts must be updated to make that the amounts reflected are precise to enable planning within the organization.
Processing of payments of contracts was done in a manner identical to what I had learned in my accounting classes. I was able to provide for the payments related to the contract in relation to the relevant accounting procedures for contract accounts. I was tasked with making entries into the various contract accounts for the various undertakings of the entity. The contract accounts assumed a basic “T” account. The amounts credited were the values of each contract. This is usually the principle value of the contract when the contract and client make an agreement. The costs and expenses accrued within the contract are debited in the contract account. I was also able to provide for the withholding charges until verification of the contract by the clients to ensure that they had received what they had paid. This enables them to release other funds, which are a remainder of the total contract price.
I was also responsible for processing orders from the purchases department. This task was demanding given the high number of purchases made at a given time by the organization. I had to keep precise records of the various purchases, which were to be made for approval by the organization’s executives. As part of the finance department, I was also responsible with keeping detailed records of the present cashflows at a given time. This is essential as it enabled the organization to monitor the amounts of cash for running the organization. The means of recording purchases are usually recorded using various methods. I was able to record the payables account. First in first out was one of the methods used by the entity. We used the purchases daybook for recording the goods purchased on credit and their subsequent payments and discounts provided by the creditors.
Numerous aspects of the internships were beneficial to me as a student as well as an individual. The experience I gained from my internship within the organization is essential for my career, as well as form my personal growth as an individual. I was also able to learn of the various aspects of making the best quality cement. As an individual, when engaging in real estate activities, it would be easy to make decisions related to new developments. I was also able to establish new contacts with individuals from within and outside the organization. This would provide me with the needed contacts when I have finished college and looking for employment.
Relating with other people in the work environment is essential as it enhances one’s social skills. I was able to learn valuable information that I intend to apply in future when am employed. The various aspects of forming an effective and effective organizational structure were evident. I learnt of the need for a clearly defined level of hierarchy within the organization. This is essential as it ensures that all employees are delegated specific and unique duties and responsibilities. A defined level of hierarchy is essential as it ensures a sense of responsibility for the employees. Each employee is delegated unique duties and responsibilities. This is vital as it ensures that each employee exercises due diligence in execution of tasks, duties and responsibilities delegated by higher authority in the organization.
The finance department was essentially demanding given the high level of concentration needed when executing various tasks duties and responsibilities delegated to me. High concentration and awareness is vital because of the notion of importance of money. Confusion when recording, presenting and reporting financial information would send a message of incompetence and propagating fraud. Hence, the need to record accounting and financial information appropriately is crucial to ensure that the one evades any form of legal troubles, which might arise, from presentation and recording of incorrect and inadequate financial information. Such knowledge can only be acquired through experience and interactions with people with such prior experiences.
In addition, I also learnt of the negative effects of unwarranted bureaucracies. Bureaucracies tend to impede on creativity and execution of tasks in an independent manner. Any organization, despite its field of operation, requires an aspect of flexibility within the hierarchal structures to ensure that the employees are able exercise a required level of independence. This encourages responsibility, creativity and innovation. This described benefits are essential for the organization to ensure that the employees are able to exercise due diligence in their accounting activities.
Najran Cement Company is a Saudi Arabian entity incorporated under the Saudi Laws. The entity has various strengths and weaknesses within its field, and market of operation. The entity has one of the best locations for its plant. This enables the entity to make the various deliveries and purchases of raw materials without putting strain on the resources available. The movement of raw materials from the mining plant into the processing plant, is essential, as it enables efficient production of goods and speedy shipment and movement of goods to the various consumers in Saudi Arabia.
The organization is heavily capitalized making it a force to reckon with in the cement manufacturing market. This has enabled the organization to ward off competition by pricing it products considerably in the market. In addition, it has also enabled the entity to improve its brand name through the production of high quality products and marketing vigorously such products. In addition, the expansion projects undertaken by the organization aimed at increasing production are essential for the organization, as this would enable the organization to meet increasing consumer demand. Furthermore, this would enable the entity to exercise economies of scale in its operations. Essentially, this enables the entity to price its products at relatively lower prices than the prevailing market costs while making adequate profits.
The entity has limited financial data, which could be used for further analysis by experts and investors to evaluate the trends of growth of the entity. Historical information could limit the exposure of the organization to the investors, who seek to make large investments based on the trends of growth and related financial information provided in the financial statements of various financial periods.
The entity is unable to rely of numerous personnel in the production processes. This is because of the need to have experienced individuals in the production line who are adequately conversant with the processes. This proves to be a disadvantage because of the need to bow to the needs of such personnel, as they seem to have an upper hand in the organization. In addition, in the event of absence of such personnel the organization would be unable to provide adequate and quality goods given that few individuals are in possession of all the knowledge about the production process.
Financing could also prove to be a challenge because the organization does not have sufficient historical information, which could be provided to potential investors. Financiers usually refer to previous financial information spanning over several years to evaluate the expected returns and performance of the shares purchased by an investor.
The organization lacks control over external market factors, which could materially influence the consumer decisions, as well as the production of the goods. This could negatively affect the organization leading to cost overruns in the operations of the entity.
External threats posed to the organization are mainly from new entrants in the market. Competition is usually a major worry for an organization as it determines the profitability and existence of an entity within a defined market. Increased development of new housing structures in Saudi Arabia has been an attraction for new entities seeking a share of the lucrative segment market. The Saudi cement market has grown at a consistent rate making it the largest construction market in the Middle East. Innovation in the development of new and better-priced products in the market should be a priority for the organization. This is to ensure that the organization survives and thrives in the market despite unfavorable market conditions due to the global recession.
A global slowdown in the cement market would prove to be a great threat to the profitability of the organization. The Financial crisis of the year 2008 had serious negative effects on many consumer markets around the world resulting in a global recession, which the world is still reeling from today. The entity places emphasis on third party agreements with contractors. Such are expensive given that, the contractors are driven by the need to make supernormal returns from such agreements.
The boom in the construction market would eventually result in a decline, in construction activity. Hence, given that the entity has already embarked on ambitious expansion projects, this could result in reduced earnings expected by the investors.
The rapid expansion of the Saudi construction market is a great opportunity for the organization to seek increased growth in the market. In addition, the entity could also use such an opportunity to assume a multinational approach and seek entry into other markets within the Middle East and eventually into other international markets. The entity could hire more personnel for the various production process given the high reliance on few individuals for effective production. This could be essential as it could create the much-needed competition and subsequently increase the productivity of the employees of the organization.
Despite an imminent slowdown in construction activity, the entity could seek other markets and assume an international perspective in marketing and selling its goods and services. This is because of the need to escape an already saturated market. Furthermore, this is essential in that it would ensure that the organization.
Future growth is guaranteed in the production of high quality and competitive products. This is because consumers are usually attracted to quality products at relatively fair prices. The entity given its plans for expansion could attain advantage in production through economies of scale. I think that the organization could produce better goods and attain competitive advantage. In addition, this could also be achieved through pricing strategies. Pricing strategies involve selling new products at slightly lower prices than the prevailing market prices within the market. This is aimed at attracting consumers who are price sensitive.
The management and the entire organization could be held hostage by the few personnel responsible for the various essential production processes as well as the management of the organization. The organization could increase personnel who could be apprentices of the existent key personnel of the organization. Another recommendation is for the organization to involve in production of other construction related products. This is essential as it enables the entity to diversify its portfolio and venues for revenue. This is essential as a reduction in activity within a specified market niche for a certain product would force the entity to rely on other market niches and products for revenue. Essentially the entity could also reduce bureaucracies within the organization to ensure efficient and effective execution of duties and responsibilities delegated to the employees within the hierarchal chain in management. This would subsequently encourage innovation for development of new products.
The organization could keep more information to ensure that they have adequate information about financial and operational activities. This would enable the organization to make analyses for future investment decisions given that the entity does not have any historical financial information recorded.