Difficulties in Using Audit Software

Procurement and Audit notes revision

• Set up cost is high: set up cost is high as initially client procedures need to be investigated and understood thoroughly prior to the audit software can be used to access and interrogate those files.
• Changes are costly: if there are changes to client system, this will require costly alterations to the audit software.
• Not suitable for small installations: there may be no suitable audit software for use on mini or microcomputer installations. Client procurement system documentation may be incomplete so that it is difficult to identify all procedures. The cost of writing specific audit software to test those systems may be difficult to justify against the possible benefit on the audit or possibility of recovering the cost of the software.
• Over-elaboration: tendency to produce over-elaborate enquiry programs which are expensive to develop, time consuming in processing and reviewing. Hence audit cost goes up and it’s difficult to justify its use.
• Quantities of output: it may arise that output is too large either due to poor design of the software or using inappropriate parameters on a test. Hence overdetailed output hardly serves any purpose apart from wasting auditor time in trying to figure out what is important and what is not.
• Live database: the audit program need to be run on the live database (i.e. actual files) of the client because the auditor is testing the actual system of the client. Some clients may be unwilling to let auditors run the audit program on the live/actual files as this need to be fully tested that it won’t corrupt the actual database files. Alternative solution is to run the audit software on backup copies of the live database. But the problem is of ensuring that the copied files are true replicate of the live files.

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