Chapter 12The Impact of Information Technology on the Audit Process Dr. Mohamed A. Hamada
1. What Are Differences Between Manual & Computerized Accounting? Manual accounting requires that all journal entries, invoices and other financial documents be created by hand. Computerized accounting allows users to input information into accounting software programs.
Speed Computerized accounting produces information much faster than manual accounting. Accounting software packages, such as QuickBooks and Peachtree, come with built-in databases that allow users to input data. • Accuracy Manual accounting systems are prone to mathematical errors and misplaced numbers. With a computerized accounting system, your company data is automatically calculated based on numbers you input.
Financial Statements Computerized accounting systems allow financial statements to be created from information stored in the database. • Cost The cost of computerized accounting systems can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars for large businesses. A computerized accounting system may save on man hours used for creating financial statements and other reports. For this reason, many small and mid-sized businesses use computerized accounting software.
Reports Reports are created in a timely manner when using a computerized accounting system. Reports generated from computerized accounting software allow managers to run the company in a more efficient manner.
Safety Accounting records kept on the manual system can be lost or damaged easily, such as by coffee spills. On the other hand, records kept by a computer are likely to be safer because many systems are backed up often. If you lose pages in a paper pad, you may have to recreate the transactions by conducting research and writing them in again. In a computerized system, you simply restore the latest backup and add a few transactions that were not saved.
Organization Data processed through software is organized and easy to find. Accounting programs organize the information in one place, classified by type. For instance, if you want to find certain data about a vendor, you can go to the accounts payable section of the software, usually by clicking a link or tab, and conduct a search for the vendor. If you conduct the same process on a manual system, you may have to go through several pages and take your time to find what you're looking for.
Main feature of Computerized Auditing Environment • All tasks are performed electronically. In other words, the transactions and events are recorded in electronic records with electronic evidence • Electronic data interchange and online transaction are expanded • The auditing process is carried out during the year in continuouslyform not at the end of the year. • Technological techniques such as neural networks to detect fraud and errors in financial statements, and expert systems • Furthermore, software agent could be used to collect the electronic audit evidence
Main differences between traditional and computerized auditing • The way in which transactions are recorded • The way in which such recording must be controlled and authenticated • The training, skills needed and attitudes of responsible staff, on both the management and technical levels • The way in which the process and its results must be audited.
Learning Objective 1 • Describe how IT improves internal control.
How Information Technologies Enhance Internal Control • Computer controls replace manual controls • Higher-quality information is available
Internal Control • Is a process affected by the company’s board of directors , management and other personnel. • It provides reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of the following objectives: - Economy, efficiency and effectiveness of operations • Internal financial control • Compliance with applicable lows and regulations
Main objectives of the Internal Control • Safeguard assets of the organization • Ensure the accuracy and reliability of accounting records and information • Promote the efficiency in the firm’s operations • Measure compliance with management’s prescribed policies and procedures
Classifications of system controls in Computerized systems General controls Application controls
General controls Application controls • Input controls • Processing controls • Output controls Organizational and operating controls Business continuity and disaster recovery planning Program development and documentation controls Hardware controls Access controls
General controls Concern all computer activities. They relate to all many computerized accounting activities They include control over the development, modification and maintenance of computer programs
Application controls • are controls involved inside the system to ensure that all data that be enteredinto the system are valid and will not cause the system failure, controls that ensure proper processing of transactions and controls that include reports, checks, documents, and other printed or displayed information
Learning Objective 2 • Identify risks that arise from using an IT-based accounting system.
Assessing Risks ofInformation Technologies • Risks to hardware and data • Reduced audit trail • Need for IT experience and separation of IT duties
Risks to Hardware and Data • Reliance on the functioning capabilities of hardware and software • Systematic versus random errors • Unauthorized access • Loss of data
Reduced Audit Trail • Visibility of audit trail • Reduced human involvement • Lack of traditional authorization
Need for IT Experience and Separation of Duties • Reduced separation of duties • Need for IT experience
Learning Objective 3 • Explain how general controls and application controls can reduce IT risks.
General Controls • Administration of IT function • Separation of IT duties • Systems development • Physical and online security • Backup and planning • Hardware controls
Administration of the IT Function The perceived importance of IT within an organization is often dictated by the attitude of the board of directors and senior management.
Segregation of IT Duties Chief Information Officer or IT Manager Security Administrator Systems Development Operations Data Control
Systems Development Typical test strategies Pilot testing Parallel testing
Physical and Online Security • Physical Controls: • Keypad entrances • Badge-entry systems • Security cameras • Security personnel • Online Controls: • User ID control • Password control • Separate add-on security software
Backup and Contingency Planning One key to a backup and contingency plan is to make sure that all critical copies of software and data files are backed up and stored off the premises.
Hardware Controls These controls are built into computer equipment by the manufacturer to detect and report equipment failures.
Application Controls • Input controls • Processing controls • Output controls
Input Controls These controls are designed by an organization to ensure that the information being processed is authorized, accurate, and complete.
Batch Input Controls • Financial total • Hash total • Record count
Processing Controls • Validation test • Sequence test • Arithmetic accuracy test • Data reasonableness test • Completeness test
Output Controls These controls focus on detecting errors after processing is completed rather than on preventing errors.
Learning Objective 4 • Describe how general controls affect the auditor’s testing of application controls.
Impact of Information Technology on the Audit Process • Effects of general controls on control risk • Effects of IT controls on control risk and substantive tests • Auditing in less complex IT environments • Auditing in more complex IT environments
A. Phases of the Information Systems Audit 1. Initial review and evaluation of the area to be audited, and the audit plan preparation 2. Detailed review and evaluation of controls 3. Compliance testing 4. Analysis and reporting of results
B. Structure of the Financial Statement Audit Transactions Accounting System Financial Reports Financial Statement Audit Substantive Testing Interim Audit Compliance Testing
B1. Compliance Testing Auditors perform tests of controls to determine that the control policies, practices, and procedures established by management are functioning as planned. This is known as compliance testing.
B2. Substantive Testing Substantive testing is the direct verification of financial statement figures. Examples would include reconciling a bank account and confirming accounts receivable. Audit Confirmation To ABC Co. Customer: Please confirm that the balance of your account on Dec. 31 is _____ .
C. Auditing Around the Computer The auditor ignores computer processing. Instead, the auditor selects source documents that have been input into the system and summarizes them manually to see if they match the output of computer processing. Processing
D. Auditing With The Computer The utilization of the computer by an auditor to perform some audit work that would otherwise have to be done manually.
E. Auditing Through the Computer The process of reviewing and evaluating the internal controls in an electronic data processing system. Audit
Audit Software Techniques Information technology gives auditors a new set of techniques for examining the automated business environment, Audit software provides auditors with the ability to extract information from several files, with different database management systems, in order to search for underlying patterns or relationships among data. Audit software is computer programs that help auditors achieve the various tasks of auditing process.
Computer Assisted Audit Techniques (CAATs), Consist of package of programs; purpose written programs, utility programs or system management programs • Generalized Audit Software (GAS) • Test data • Integrated Test Facilities (ITF) • Parallel Simulation • Snapshot • Mapping • Embedded audit module EAM
A. Review of Systems Documentation The auditor reviews documentation such as narrative descriptions, flowcharts, and program listings. In desk checking the auditor processes test or real data through the program logic.
B. Test Data The auditor prepares input containing both valid and invalid data. Prior to processing the test data, the input is manually processed to determine what the output should look like. The auditor then compares the computer-processed output with the manually processed results.
Computer Operations Auditors Prepare Test Transactions And Results Illustration of Test Data Approach Transaction Test Data Computer Application System Manually Processed Results Computer Output Auditor Compares
Test Data Approach 1. Test data should include all relevant conditions that the auditor wants tested. 2. Application programs tested by the auditors’ test data must be the same as those the client used throughout the year. 3. Test data must be eliminated from the client’s records.