Auditor’s Approach in Computerized Environment

Due to the special features in computerized systems, it is necessary to devise appropriate audit approach. There are usually two main approaches that can be adopted. These approaches are:

  1. Auditing around the computer
  2. Auditing through the computer

1.Auditing Around the Computer

This approach assumes that the presence of accurate output verifies processing operations. The approach pays no attention to the control procedures within the information technology (IT) department. The auditor does not rely on controls be they manual or computerized. This approach
is mainly substantive. This approach is only suitable where:

  • The audit trail is complete and visible
  • Processing is simple and
  • Complete documentation of transaction is available

This approach has its own demerits such as:

  • It is extremely risky to audit and give an opinion records that have been produced and processed that one does not fully understand
  • A computer has immense advantages for the auditor and it is inefficient to carry out an audit in this manner

2.Auditing Through the Computer

There are two basic techniques that are available to the auditors. These are:

  • The use of test data and
  • The use computer audit program

These methods are generally referred to Computer Assisted Audit Techniques (CAATs) Computer Assisted Audited Techniques CAATs refer to any automated audit techniques such computer software and test data. CAATs are ways in which the computer may be used the auditor in a computerized environment to gather, or assist in gathering audit evidence. CAATs are mainly categorized into audit software and test data

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