Although computer systems should be designed to ensure accurate data processing, an auditor is likely to make use of one or more computer-based techniques in order to check that accuracy. Describe any three techniques available to the auditor and the situations where each might be used

CPA-Quantitative-Analysis-Section-4 BLOCK RELEASE

Computer-based techniques that may be used to check computer accuracy:

1. Use of generalized audit packages
These are programs written auditors/specialists, which can be used, on different types of systems. Given that they are general programs, they can therefore be applied in different organizations. This means that these programs can be tailored defining the format of the files and specifying the parameters of the output data that is required. Generalized audit packages can be used in computational checks, in detection of instances of violation of system rules, in completeness checks, and in the selection of items for audit testing i.e. helps in sampling and in formatting of data files.

2. Use of specifically written packages
These are specific software that are written so that they can interrogate or be used in a given organization. Specific written packages can be used to perform computational checks, to detect violation of system rules, to detect unreasonable data items, to check completeness of data, to select items for audit testing and to format data files.

3. Use of test packs/data
Test data is normally used the auditor for computer processing to test for the operations of the business procedures. Test data will involve some data for which the auditor knows the expected output. This data will be processed through the system and the auditor will check whether the output is the same as expected i.e. the test data is normally confined to compliance testing and therefore it may be less variable (in terms of functionality) than audit programs.

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