An audit system usually is a computer program that is designed to assist with the completion of audit procedures. This type of software is purchased by accounting firms, auditors and internal auditing departments. The primary purpose of an audit system is to collect data, perform a random data sample for each audit procedure, track activity and assist in the creation of the final report. There are a wide range of audit systems available, from small systems designed for a medium-size business to large enterprise systems for use by multinational organizations.
In order to work with an audit system, training in accounting and auditing is required. While the type of audit can vary, an audit system is most commonly used for financial or regulatory audits. In this type of audit, huge amounts of data are uploaded into the system and used to create a series of tests. For many auditors, additional training in the audit system is necessary. This may be completed through a series of courses, by reviewing user documentation or through seminars.
In order to have an effective and reliable audit system, the software must be installed on an independently maintained computer network, with tight security surrounding access to the system. Data from the transactional system is uploaded through a secure process to ensure that no information is altered. In many large firms, this is completed by a program that is run on a scheduled basis.
The primary task of an audit system is to define the data set for a specific audit test and complete random data selection. The criteria for the data selection is set by the auditor, and the program itself utilizes various queries and statistical methods to ensure that the selection is truly random. This process alone saves significant time and effort during an audit.
As the auditor works through the audit plan, he or she must update the project plan with the time required and work completed. An audit system can track and maintain this information automatically. A report is provided to the audit supervisor, with a list of the time spent on the audit, the work done and the name of the auditor. This type of report is required in any audit and is very helpful.
There are a wide range of reports and output options available in an audit system. These tools are designed to assist with the preparation of the final audit report, which is required for any audit. The compilation of the audit tests, evidence and conclusions is a huge time-saver.