A flowchart can be very valuable in auditing essential organization purposes and methods these kinds of as enterprise useful resource organizing programs (ERP) and service oriented architecture (SOA) programs. As IT auditors we are involved with receiving a distinct comprehending of the hazards and controls in the engineering below review. Flowcharts facilitate an correct evaluation of an IT surroundings.
In accordance to Wikipedia, the simple definition of a flowchart is a type of diagram that signifies an algorithm or procedure that shows data and its motion typically with arrows. The use of flowcharts is frequent in several fields for examination, layout, documentation and process management.
Flowcharts are most beneficial to visually screen business processes and the supporting engineering. flowchart maker can emphasis on different aspects of data flows and infrastructure in these diagrams depending on the evaluation of pitfalls and controls.
Activities that can be captured in a flowchart include data inputs from a file or databases, determination details, logical processing and output to a file or report. Hazards and controls in a business process can be documented visually and analyzed.
4 basic designs are typically employed to create flowcharts. A square is employed for a process (e.g. insert, replace, conserve). A square with a wavy base is utilised for a document. A diamond is utilized for a decision level (e.g. yes/no, correct/untrue). A sideways cylinder is used for information storage (e.g. databases). These conventional styles were at first established by IBM and other pioneers of details technological innovation.
Further styles consist of circles, ovals and rounded rectangles for the start and finish of a company method. Arrows demonstrate ‘flow control’ in between a supply image and a focus on symbol. A parallelogram signifies input and output e.g. info entry from a form, display to consumer.
In making flowcharts, there are some fundamental policies to follow. Start and end points should be plainly defined. The amount of element documented in the flowchart should be proper to the subject make a difference covered. The creator of the flowchart need to have a obvious understanding of the approach and the supposed viewers ought to be in a position to adhere to the flowchart easily.
Our crew of IT auditors, employs Microsoft Visio extensively to develop flowcharts and to assess company processes. A flowchart is generally made with vertical columns symbolizing various departments or phases that are component of an total enterprise method. Interfaces among departments can be proven regardless of whether automated or guide connections that aid the company process.
Flowcharts can make clear the controls on data inputs, processing and outputs. Input controls may incorporate edit and validation checks. Processing controls can be in the type of handle totals or milestones. Output controls could consist of error examining and reconciliations. This kind of a illustration on a flowchart enables an auditor to identify regions within a enterprise method with weak or non-existent controls.
An illustration of technological innovation that can be comprehended via flowchart investigation is organization useful resource preparing application this kind of as Oracle e-Company Suite and SAP. Input controls are set by way of certain ‘rules’ to make certain the validity of information. Process controls are utilized to higher-chance capabilities, transactions or kinds. Output controls consist of reports and reconciliations.
Another example of complicated technology that can be comprehended via flowcharts is provider oriented architecture (SOA). This architecture is made up of several web and software program parts that are integrated to hook up service suppliers with provider consumers. ‘Web services’ assistance distinct business processes. Every single of these net providers will usually have controls on info inputs, processing and output. The flowchart is vital to realize this kind of net services and their integration in a broader surroundings generally by means of an Organization Service Bus (ESB).
In conclusion, a flowchart can be utilised by IT auditors to evaluate a enterprise procedure. Different factors of the method can be emphasized this kind of as dangers, controls, interfaces, selection factors, technology infrastructure and components. The well-known expression of a picture is equal to a thousand terms is exact. A flowchart can seize important points that verbiage and textual content cannot very easily match. We inspire the IT audit, risk and handle communities to use this strong instrument in performing their respective functions.