I visited Cabela’s on friends and family night, so I observed their internal controls. I also asked my inside source of their internal controls that are not seen on the sales floor. My source provided me with Cabela’s Business Code and Ethics which clearly states: “All Outfitters are required to; appropriately manage and safeguard Cabela’s assets, ensure their efficient use, and ensure they are used for legitimate business purposes; maintain complete, accurate, and timely financial records related to their area of responsibility; assure the integrity of all Cabela’s books, records, and accounting practices.” Each new employee must read this booklet, and then sign their name stating that they read and are in compliance with what it outlines. Outfitters are required to cooperate with reason to any legal and governmental requests, inspections, and investigations. Some of the internal controls that I observed were computerized inventory, all Outfitters with headsets, authorized personnel only in stockrooms, authorized personnel to check gun sells and gun buy backs, and high end merchandise not being handed over until paid for.
When I was there I noticed some of the larger products were starting to run low, so I asked my source how they know if there were any more in stock without having to go to the stockroom. She said they have computerized inventory, so all she would have to do is put the UPC in the database. Then she would know right then if they were anymore or if they would have to place an order for the product. This leads to why every Outfitter having their own headset, once she finds out if there are more she just has to call over the headset to a recovery team member. The reason she has to call to the recovery team is because they are the only ones allowed in the stockroom. This cuts down on internal theft, helps with inventory, and audits. With this type of control when something is out of place whether that is merchandise or finance recordings it is easier to pin point the misstep.
Another internal control that I was able to observe was high end merchandise is never released to a customer until the final transaction is complete. While there I overheard a customer asking for an expensive pair of sunglasses in the gift shop section, the Outfitter got the sunglasses, took the gentleman’s name and told him they would be at register two when he was ready to check out. This helps with two things, theft being the biggest factor but also with the front registers being the only places non-specialized merchandise is purchased it cuts down on multiple closing records. I say non-specialized merchandise because guns of any type must be purchased at the register in the gun library. Which brings in the last internal control that I was able to observe; when a gun of any kind whether it be a small hand gun to a hunting rifle, not only is it purchased at the gun library but an authorized personnel called a gun runner carries the gun and escorts the customer to the exit door.
Cabela’s also has an authorized person standing at the exit doors that has been told via headset that a gun runner with x-amount of guns is heading his way. He is also authorized to check and lock guns being brought into Cabela’s for buy back. After he puts a lock on it he then calls for a gun runner to come get the gun, carry it, and escort the customer to the gun library. With everything I observed and was told by my source, Cabela’s leaves no holes in their internal workings, from merchandise to keeping with their finance records. I would say they are doing something right because this is one of the few companies that have not had their name ran through “media mud” due to fraud.