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Topic 3 - Week 2

Topic 3 - Week 2 - Topic 3 Why documentation is important 1...

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Topic 3 Why documentation is important? 1. Documentation describes the logical flow of data within a computer system and the procedures that employees must follow to accomplish application tasks 2. 9 reasons why it is important to AIS’s: 1. Depicting how the system works 1. Studying written descriptions of inputs, processing steps and outputs makes the job easer 2. Help explain how an AIS operates 3. Helps employees understand the system 4. Assists accountants design controls for it 2. Training users 1. Helps people learn how an AIS operates 2. Don’t have to read the manual 3. Designing new systems 1. Helps designers develop new systems in much the same way that blueprints help architects design buildings 4. Controlling system development and maintenance costs 1. It helps system designers develop object- oriented software 1. Programs contain modular, reusable code 2. Helps programmers avoid writing duplicate programs and facilitates changes when programs must be modified later 5. Standardizing communications with others 1. Aids standard industry tools 2. Helps describe existing or proposed system in a “common language” 3. Helps communication 6. Auditing AIS’s 1. Documentation helps depict audit trails 2. Helps determine strengths and weaknesses of a system 7. Documenting business processes 1. Mapping the process can help managers better understand the ways in which their businesses operate 8. Complying with the Sarbanes- Oxley Act of 2002 1. Requires documentation of internal control procedure 2. External auditor must be able to evaluate the validity and effectiveness of such procedures 3. Documentation is crucial for analysing the risks of errors, frauds, omission and similar mistakes in important business processes, as well as help auditors evaluate the controls used to misguide to mitigate such risks 9. Establishing accountability: 1. Manual signatures allow employees and government agents to execute their responsibilities, create audit trials, and establish accountability for their actions Document and System Flowcharts: 1. Most of the times companies find it hard to document resulting in deficiencies.
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1. There is an urgency to develop “a system that works” which overrides “a system that is well documented” DOCUMENT FLOWCHARTS: 1. Traces the physical flow of documents through an organisation 1. I.e. From departments, groups or individuals to the final dispositions 2. They do not have standardised symbols 3. Common document flowcharts: 1. To construct document flowchart: 1. Identify the different departments or groups that handle the documents of a particular system 2. The use symbols to show the flow 2. Guidelines for Drawing Document Flowcharts: 1) Identify all the departments that create or receive the documents involved in the system 2) Carefully classify the documents and activities of each department, and draw them under their corresponding department headings 3) Identify each copy of an accounting document with a number. If multiple-
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