List some controls that can be put in place/built in hardware and systems software.
1. Parity check. 2. Echo check. 3. Diagnostic routines. 4. Boundary protection.
List the IT duties that should be segregated (in connection with "organization and operation").
1. Systems analyst 2. Programmer 3. Operator 4. Librarian 5. Security.
List the types of physical safeguards used to protect the data files.
1. File labels 2. File protection rings 3. File protection plans.
List some internal control implications associated with an IT environment.
1. Segregation of duties may be undermined (a disadvantage) 2. Audit trail may be lacking (a disadvantage) 3. Computer processing is uniform (an advantage).
Define "general controls."
Controls that have pervasive effects on all the specific computer processing applications.
List the five categories of general controls.
1. Organization and operation 2. Systems development and documentation 3. Hardware and systems software 4. Access 5. Data and procedures.
What is the purpose of missing data checks?
To determine whether there are any omissions from fields in which data should have been present.
Define "record count."
A counting mechanism in an IT system that keeps track of the number of records processed to determine that the appropriate number was accounted for.
What is the purpose of validity checks?
To determine whether the data under review are recognized as legitimate possibilities.
Define "check digit."
An arithmetic manipulation of a numeric field that captures the information content of that field and then gets "tacked" onto the end of that numeric field.
What is the purpose of limit tests?
To determine whether the data under review are all within some predetermined range.
What is the objective of input application controls?
To ensure that the input of data is accurate and as authorized.
List the three types of control totals.
1. Batch totals 2. Hash totals 3. Record count.
Define "hash totals."
An arbitrary total that has no meaningful interpretation outside the context in which it was created. It is used only to validate the integrity of that data that is being examined.
List some examples of logic checks.
1. Limit tests 2. Validity checks 3. Missing data checks 4. Check digits.
What is the purpose of output application controls?
To ensure the output data (and the distribution of any related reports) is accurate and as authorized.
Define "application controls."
Information processing controls that apply to the processing of specific computer applications (controls around input, processing, and output).
What is the purpose of processing application controls?
To ensure the processing of data is accurate and as authorized.
Define "batch totals."
The sum of a particular field in a collection of items used as a control total to ensure that all data has been entered into a system.
What is Data Mining Software?
Commercially available software (such as ACL or Idea) used to access a client's electronic data and perform a broad range of audit tasks (such as performing analytical procedures and sampling for confirmation work, etc.).
What is the purpose of test data procedures?
To process known errors to see if the client's system catches them. The auditor only needs to include those errors that are important to the auditor (that is, the auditor need not include every possible type of error). There may be a danger of contaminating the client's database with the test data.
Define "generalized audit software."
Audit software designed to access and test data files of many audit clients. Such audit software is not unique to a specific audit client.The cost is usually expensive to develop, but that cost can be spread over many audit clients. The cost per client may justify that large initial cost of development.
Define "tagging transactions."
The process of adding an electronic tagging to specific client transactions and tracing them through the client's system.
Define "Integrated Test Facility (ITF)."
A fictitious division or department within the client created for the purpose of processing the "dummy" (test) data along with the client's "live" data.
Define "parallel simulation."
The processing of the client's actual data using the auditor's software and then comparing the auditor's output to the client's output for agreement.
Define "customized audit software."
Programs specifically written to access the files of a particular client. The cost might be modest, but the benefits are limited to the specific client for whom the software was written.
Define "database system."
A set of interconnected files that eliminates the redundancy associated with maintaining separate files for different subsets of the organization.
Define "On-line Processing."
The processing of data whereby the user is in direct communication with the computer's central processing unit.
Define "Real Time Processing."
The processing of data whereby the data files are immediately updated.
Define "Value Added Network (VAN)."
A network maintained by an independent company that facilitates Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) transactions between the buying and selling companies.