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2015年ACCA考试《审计》精选考点1

发表时间:2015-04-08 来源:
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RELEVANT TO CAT QUALIFICATION PAPER 8 AND ACCA QUALIFICATION
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PAPERS F8 AND P7

SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF AUDITING IN A

COMPUTER-BASED ENVIRONMENT

Information technology (IT) is integral to modern accounting and management

information systems. It is, therefore, imperative that auditors should be fully

aware of the impact of IT on the audit of a client’s financial statements, both in

the context of how it is used by a client to gather, process and report financial

information in its financial statements, and how the auditor can use IT in the

process of auditing the financial statements.

The purpose of this article is to provide guidance on following aspects of

auditing in a computer-based accounting environment:

? Application controls, comprising input, processing, output and master

file controls established by an audit client, over its computer-based

accounting system and

? Computer-assisted audit techniques (CAATs) that may be employed by

auditors to test and conclude on the integrity of a client’s

computer-based accounting system.

Exam questions on each of the aspects identified above are often answered to

an inadequate standard by a significant number of students – hence the reason

for this article.

Dealing with application controls and CAATs in turn:

APPLICATION CONTROLS

Application controls are those controls (manual and computerised) that relate

to the transaction and standing data pertaining to a computer-based

accounting system. They are specific to a given application and their objectives

are to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the accounting records and

the validity of entries made in those records. An effective computer-based

system will ensure that there are adequate controls existing at the point of

input, processing and output stages of the computer processing cycle and over

standing data contained in master files. Application controls need to be

ascertained, recorded and evaluated by the auditor as part of the process of

determining the risk of material misstatement in the audit client’s financial

statements.

Input controls

Control activities designed to ensure that input is authorised, complete,

accurate and timely are referred to as input controls. Dependent on the

complexity of the application program in question, such controls will vary in

terms of quantity and sophistication. Factors to be considered in determining

these variables include cost considerations, and confidentiality requirements

with regard to the data input. Input controls common to most effective

application programs include on-screen prompt facilities (for example, a

request for an authorised user to ‘log-in’) and a facility to produce an audit

2

SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF AUDITING IN A COMPUTER-BASED

ENVIRONMENT

JANUARY 2011

trail allowing a user to trace a transaction from its origin to disposition in the

system.

Specific input validation checks may include:

Format checks

These ensure that information is input in the correct form. For example, the

requirement that the date of a sales invoice be input in numeric format only –

not numeric and alphanumeric.

Range checks

These ensure that information input is reasonable in line with expectations. For

example, where an entity rarely, if ever, makes bulk-buy purchases with a value

in excess of $50,000, a purchase invoice with an input value in excess of

$50,000 is rejected for review and follow-up.

Compatibility checks

These ensure that data input from two or more fields is compatible. For

example, a sales invoice value should be compatible with the amount of sales

tax charged on the invoice.

Validity checks

These ensure that the data input is valid. For example, where an entity

operates a job costing system – costs input to a previously completed job

should be rejected as invalid.

Exception checks

These ensure that an exception report is produced highlighting unusual

situations that have arisen following the input of a specific item. For example,

the carry forward of a negative value for inventory held.

Sequence checks

These facilitate completeness of processing by ensuring that documents

processed out of sequence are rejected. For example, where pre-numbered

goods received notes are issued to acknowledge the receipt of goods into

physical inventory, any input of notes out of sequence should be rejected.

Control totals

These also facilitate completeness of processing by ensure that pre-input,

manually prepared control totals are compared to control totals input. For

example, non-matching totals of a ‘batch’ of purchase invoices should result in

an on-screen user prompt, or the production of an exception report for

follow-up. The use of control totals in this way are also commonly referred to

as output controls (see below).

Check digit verification

This process uses algorithms to ensure that data input is accurate. For

example, internally generated valid supplier numerical reference codes, should

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