Loblaw - Cases in Strategic-Systems Auditing LOBLAW...

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The views and opinions are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG LLP. 1999 by KPMG LLP, The U.S. Member Firm of KPMG International All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. This case was developed under a grant from the KPMG/University of Illinois Business Measurement Case Development & Research Program. Cases developed under this program and other program information can be obtained from the Web site www.cba.uiuc.edu/kpmg-uiuc/. Cases in Strategic-Systems Auditing LOBLAW COMPANIES LTD. www.loblaw.com Royston Greenwood University of Alberta Steve Salterio University of Waterloo KPMG/University of Illinois Business Measurement Case Development and Research Program Support from the KPMG/University of Illinois Business Measurement Case Development and Research Program is gratefully acknowledged. The authors acknowledge the significant support and contribution of Mary Lou Maher, Laura Moschitto, and Mark Irwin of KPMG Canada and personnel at the Loblaw Companies Ltd. The case is for classroom discussion and is not intended as an example of effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. In particular, the case does not necessarily represent the views of Loblaw management.
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n KPMG/University of Illinois Business Measurement Case Development and Research Program July 1999 o 1 Introduction Mary Lou, a KPMG assurance partner, looked up from her desk as Laura, a recently promoted senior, entered her office. After exchanging the normal pleasantries, Laura said, “I am scheduled to attend specialized training for retail clients next Monday in London.” “Yes,” says Mary Lou, “the course will be an excellent vehicle for you to enhance your knowledge of the retail industry. Now that you are assigned to the Loblaw Companies Ltd. engagement that knowledge will be invaluable. As you probably know, Loblaw is the largest food distributor in Canada and one of the largest clients in our office.” Mary Lou continues, “We will view Loblaw’s business in much the same way that management views the company because the focal points of our audit will be strategic risks, process risks, and the financial-statement implications of such risks. Among other matters, you will need to understand business models, strategies, business processes, and controls within the grocery industry in general and for Loblaw specifically. You also will need to know how to measure industry performance and calibrate Lowblaw’s performance against industry norms. Obviously, a thorough understanding of retailing in general and food distribution, specifically, will be essential to a successful audit. Enjoy your trip to London and I hope you learn a lot during the course.”
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n KPMG/University of Illinois Business Measurement Case Development and Research Program July 1999 o 2 Part I On her return from London, Laura and the other audit team members prepared the following descriptive analyses of the grocery industry and Loblaw’s competitive position in that industry.
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