A flowchart can be extremely helpful in auditing crucial company programs and programs these kinds of as business source arranging methods (ERP) and support oriented architecture (SOA) systems. As IT auditors we are involved with acquiring a very clear understanding of the hazards and controls in the technologies below evaluation. Flowcharts aid an correct assessment of an IT atmosphere.
According to Wikipedia, the simple definition of a flowchart is a kind of diagram that represents an algorithm or approach that exhibits info and its movement generally with arrows. The use of flowcharts is frequent in numerous fields for investigation, design and style, documentation and approach management.
Flowcharts are most beneficial to visually screen enterprise processes and the supporting technological innovation. flowchart maker can target on distinct factors of knowledge flows and infrastructure in these diagrams dependent on the evaluation of pitfalls and controls.
Activities that can be captured in a flowchart consist of data inputs from a file or database, selection details, reasonable processing and output to a file or report. Risks and controls in a enterprise method can be documented visually and analyzed.
Four simple styles are typically used to generate flowcharts. A square is used for a approach (e.g. insert, replace, preserve). A square with a wavy foundation is utilised for a document. A diamond is utilised for a decision point (e.g. indeed/no, real/fake). A sideways cylinder is utilised for data storage (e.g. databases). These standard designs had been at first recognized by IBM and other pioneers of details technologies.
Extra styles include circles, ovals and rounded rectangles for the start off and conclude of a business procedure. Arrows present ‘flow control’ between a resource image and a focus on symbol. A parallelogram represents input and output e.g. info entry from a kind, exhibit to consumer.
In producing flowcharts, there are some basic guidelines to stick to. Commence and conclude details should be obviously described. The stage of detail documented in the flowchart need to be proper to the topic matter protected. The creator of the flowchart ought to have a distinct comprehending of the procedure and the meant audience must be ready to comply with the flowchart simply.
Our staff of IT auditors, uses Microsoft Visio thoroughly to produce flowcharts and to examine organization processes. A flowchart is normally developed with vertical columns representing various departments or phases that are portion of an overall organization process. Interfaces among departments can be shown no matter whether automatic or manual connections that aid the enterprise method.
Flowcharts can clarify the controls on info inputs, processing and outputs. Input controls may consist of edit and validation checks. Processing controls can be in the sort of manage totals or milestones. Output controls might consist of error examining and reconciliations. These kinds of a illustration on a flowchart enables an auditor to determine locations in a business method with weak or non-existent controls.
An illustration of engineering that can be recognized through flowchart analysis is organization resource organizing application this sort of as Oracle e-Organization Suite and SAP. Enter controls are established by way of specific ‘rules’ to make certain the validity of knowledge. Approach controls are applied to higher-chance features, transactions or kinds. Output controls consist of reviews and reconciliations.
An additional illustration of intricate technological innovation that can be recognized through flowcharts is service oriented architecture (SOA). This architecture is composed of several internet and computer software factors that are built-in to connect services suppliers with services shoppers. ‘Web services’ support particular business procedures. Every single of these internet providers will normally have controls on information inputs, processing and output. The flowchart is vital to recognize these kinds of web services and their integration in a broader setting usually by means of an Company Provider Bus (ESB).
In summary, a flowchart can be employed by IT auditors to evaluate a enterprise approach. Various factors of the process can be emphasised these kinds of as risks, controls, interfaces, determination points, engineering infrastructure and factors. The renowned expression of a image is equivalent to a thousand terms is accurate. A flowchart can seize crucial details that verbiage and text can not simply match. We motivate the IT audit, danger and management communities to use this effective instrument in carrying out their respective functions.