In today’s business environment, computers are continuing the revolution started in the 1950s.
It has become impossible for today’s enterprises of any size and in any market sector to exist without computers to assist with their fundamental business operations.
IT has transformed many professions and the accounting profession especially in an organization is not an exception.
This is because auditing work is done using paper work but in recent years, IT has changed the way audit is performed in many organization.
There are two reasons why IT auditors should use General Audit Software (GAS) products, such as Audit Command Language (ACL).
Firstly, there is the focus on fraud in recent years, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and its 2009 “Report to the Nation” survey on fraud, more than 60 percent of all frauds are detected either by a tip or by accident. While internal audit has moved up on the list, there is clearly room for more proactive antifraud programs.
Secondly, is that the demands on IT and internal auditors are increasing and auditors will need to become more efficient to fulfill all of the responsibilities and tasks assigned to them, and having the knowledge on Audit Command Language is one way to do so.
This helps you to reduce the time you use to audit and also enable you to conduct your activities in a most efficient manner.
Using ACL empowers you as an auditor to possibly have a better sense of direction in your audit procedures.
You will be able to perform some audit procedures to gain an understanding of the data (e.g., using PROFILE, STATISTICS commands in ACL). During these procedures,
You will be able to spot an anomaly or red flag
(e.g., negative amounts where there should be none).
The data in ACL are locked down as read-only.
There is no chance for the auditor to inadvertently change the data.
This inadvertent risk is much higher for IT auditors who choose to use a spreadsheet for analyzing and presenting transactions. While one can lock cells or sheets in Microsoft Excel, there is still the possibility of human error. It is almost non-existent in ACL.
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