A flowchart can be extremely beneficial in auditing vital organization apps and systems this kind of as enterprise source preparing programs (ERP) and service oriented architecture (SOA) techniques. As IT auditors we are involved with receiving a distinct comprehension of the dangers and controls in the technological innovation underneath evaluation. Flowcharts aid an correct evaluation of an IT atmosphere.
In accordance to Wikipedia, the fundamental definition of a flowchart is a variety of diagram that represents an algorithm or method that demonstrates knowledge and its movement generally with arrows. The use of flowcharts is typical in numerous fields for examination, design, documentation and method management.
Flowcharts are most useful to visually screen organization processes and the supporting technology. Auditors can emphasis on diverse factors of information flows and infrastructure in these diagrams relying on the assessment of pitfalls and controls.
Events that can be captured in a flowchart include info inputs from a file or databases, choice points, rational processing and output to a file or report. Hazards and controls in a business method can be documented visually and analyzed.
4 standard styles are typically employed to create flowcharts. A sq. is utilised for a procedure (e.g. incorporate, replace, save). A sq. with a wavy foundation is utilized for a document. A diamond is employed for a choice stage (e.g. indeed/no, real/fake). A sideways cylinder is utilized for information storage (e.g. database). These classic styles have been initially established by IBM and other pioneers of details engineering.
Additional styles incorporate circles, ovals and rounded rectangles for the commence and stop of a enterprise process. Arrows demonstrate ‘flow control’ amongst a source symbol and a goal symbol. A parallelogram signifies enter and output e.g. knowledge entry from a form, screen to consumer.
In producing flowcharts, there are some fundamental policies to adhere to. Commence and stop factors ought to be plainly outlined. The degree of detail documented in the flowchart need to be appropriate to the matter issue covered. The creator of the flowchart should have a clear knowing of the procedure and the meant audience should be capable to adhere to the flowchart easily.
Our group of IT auditors, uses Microsoft Visio thoroughly to generate flowcharts and to examine business procedures. A flowchart is usually made with vertical columns symbolizing distinct departments or phases that are component of an total company procedure. Interfaces in between departments can be proven no matter whether automated or manual connections that aid the company approach.
Flowcharts can make clear the controls on knowledge inputs, processing and outputs. Enter controls may consist of edit and validation checks. Processing controls can be in the form of management totals or milestones. Output controls may consist of mistake checking and reconciliations. This sort of a illustration on a flowchart makes it possible for an auditor to identify areas inside of a company approach with weak or non-existent controls.
flow chart creator of technologies that can be recognized by means of flowchart investigation is company useful resource arranging computer software this sort of as Oracle e-Enterprise Suite and SAP. Enter controls are set through certain ‘rules’ to guarantee the validity of knowledge. Approach controls are used to substantial-danger functions, transactions or types. Output controls consist of stories and reconciliations.
Another illustration of complicated engineering that can be comprehended through flowcharts is services oriented architecture (SOA). This architecture is made up of numerous net and application factors that are integrated to link support companies with support consumers. ‘Web services’ assist distinct enterprise processes. Each of these world wide web solutions will normally have controls on info inputs, processing and output. The flowchart is important to understand such net providers and their integration in a broader atmosphere typically via an Enterprise Support Bus (ESB).
In conclusion, a flowchart can be used by IT auditors to examine a company process. Different factors of the method can be emphasized this kind of as dangers, controls, interfaces, choice factors, engineering infrastructure and components. The renowned expression of a photograph is equivalent to a thousand words is accurate. A flowchart can seize important details that verbiage and text cannot very easily match. We stimulate the IT audit, threat and control communities to use this potent device in doing their respective features.