A flowchart can be very beneficial in auditing crucial company apps and techniques this kind of as enterprise useful resource preparing programs (ERP) and provider oriented architecture (SOA) systems. As IT auditors we are anxious with getting a distinct comprehending of the pitfalls and controls in the technologies beneath review. Flowcharts facilitate an precise evaluation of an IT surroundings.
According to Wikipedia, the standard definition of a flowchart is a type of diagram that signifies an algorithm or approach that demonstrates info and its movement normally with arrows. The use of flowcharts is widespread in a lot of fields for evaluation, design and style, documentation and process administration.
Flowcharts are most helpful to visually display business procedures and the supporting technological innovation. Auditors can concentrate on distinct elements of data flows and infrastructure in these diagrams relying on the assessment of risks and controls.
Functions that can be captured in a flowchart include information inputs from a file or database, selection factors, logical processing and output to a file or report. Dangers and controls in a business procedure can be documented visually and analyzed.
4 basic designs are commonly employed to generate flowcharts. A square is employed for a approach (e.g. incorporate, exchange, conserve). A square with a wavy foundation is used for a document. A diamond is utilized for a selection stage (e.g. of course/no, accurate/untrue). A sideways cylinder is utilised for information storage (e.g. databases). These standard styles ended up at first set up by IBM and other pioneers of data technology.
Further designs incorporate circles, ovals and rounded rectangles for the start off and finish of a enterprise method. Arrows show ‘flow control’ among a resource symbol and a concentrate on symbol. A parallelogram represents enter and output e.g. knowledge entry from a kind, screen to person.
In creating flowcharts, there are some basic policies to adhere to. Start and stop points must be obviously defined. The degree of element documented in the flowchart need to be appropriate to the matter issue lined. The creator of the flowchart must have a clear understanding of the procedure and the intended audience ought to be ready to follow the flowchart simply.
Our staff of IT auditors, employs Microsoft Visio thoroughly to develop flowcharts and to evaluate company processes. A flowchart is usually developed with vertical columns representing various departments or phases that are part of an total enterprise method. Interfaces in between departments can be proven whether or not automated or guide connections that aid the company process.
Flowcharts can make clear the controls on data inputs, processing and outputs. Enter controls might incorporate edit and validation checks. Processing controls can be in the kind of control totals or milestones. Output controls may consist of mistake examining and reconciliations. This sort of a illustration on a flowchart allows an auditor to determine regions within a business procedure with weak or non-existent controls.
An example of technology that can be understood through flowchart investigation is organization useful resource organizing software this kind of as Oracle e-Business Suite and SAP. Input controls are set through specific ‘rules’ to guarantee the validity of knowledge. Procedure controls are used to high-danger capabilities, transactions or forms. Output controls consist of studies and reconciliations.
Yet another case in point of complicated technologies that can be comprehended through flowcharts is provider oriented architecture (SOA). This architecture is made up of numerous internet and software elements that are integrated to link service vendors with service consumers. ‘Web services’ assistance distinct company procedures. Every single of these net solutions will typically have controls on information inputs, processing and output. The flowchart is essential to recognize such world wide web companies and their integration in a broader atmosphere generally by way of an Business Service Bus (ESB).
In summary, a flowchart can be utilised by IT auditors to evaluate a organization process. Various factors of the approach can be emphasised these kinds of as dangers, controls, interfaces, selection details, technologies infrastructure and elements. The renowned expression of a photo is equal to a thousand words is correct. A flowchart can capture essential details that verbiage and textual content are not able to simply match. We inspire the IT audit, chance and manage communities to use this effective instrument in carrying out their respective features.