Here is a computer journal entry. Look at the information it provides. Account Numbers World Wide Products General Journal May 1, 20-- to May 31, 20-- 05/12/-- J322 B. Klassen Corp. C-429 120 Accounts Receivable 530 221 GST Payable 30 400 Sales 500 Date Transaction Explanation Source Debits and number document credits A computer audit trail is a path of information provided by the computer journal entry.
Financial Accounting Fundamentals BAF3M-B Lesson 17, page 9 Copyright © 2007 The Ontario Educational Communications Authority. All rights reserved. The company auditor requested this audit trail. It is part of a printout of all journal entries made from May 1 to May 31. For transaction number J322, it shows the date, customer name, source document, account numbers, and accounts debited and credited. If further information or verification were required, source document C-429 would provide it. All journal transactions are given a sequential number and they are never deleted. If an error is made, another entry must be made cancelling the original entry, and then a correcting entry is made. However, all three entries remain in the system. Because of their database design, accounting software programs can provide very useful information to internal managers, owners, and auditors. Information can be extracted from the accounting system by date, chronologically, by customer, by sales type, and so on, and the information is provided almost instantly. Computer Security If you use a computer, you know that you can lose, destroy, or erase files, or have your hardware and software fail. These problems are compounded in a business environment where there are networks of computers, a variety of software, and a number of people with varying skills using the system. Here are some of the security provisions that are followed to avoid disaster. Password Access Systems Accounting software programs generally require the user to enter a password, in order to access the program. This is for protection of the information and to prevent accidental loss of data. The software can be formatted to allow the user to access only certain parts of the program. For example, Kayla Zanon is the accounts receivable clerk for her company. When she logs onto the software program, she is only allowed access to the accounts receivable records in the accounting system. Her supervisor, the senior accountant, is allowed access to the entire accounting system.
Lesson 17, page 10 Financial Accounting Fundamentals BAF3M-B Copyright © 2007 The Ontario Educational Communications Authority. All rights reserved. Data Backup Requirements There are a variety of ways in which accounting data can be lost, including power outages, hardware and software failures, human error, and theft. For these reasons, it is wise to save or backup records daily. This means that all current records are saved externally; on an external hard drive, on DVD, on the Internet, or with a commercial agency that specializes in protecting information from loss.
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