«Item type text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic) Authors DUNN, THURMAN STANLEY. Publisher The University of Arizona. Rights Copyright © is ...»
Input File Characteristics. A variety of files and file types are typically accessible. These files may be sequential, index sequential, or their organization may depend on a particular data base system. Record types may be of fixed length or of variable length. Records may be grouped in blocks or they may be unblocked. Files may have ANSI standard labels, industry standard labels, non-standard labels or no labels. A system may have to recognize various file marks such as "end of reel II, "end of file", or "end of volume". In some applications, the auditor must specify detail in the client's files which is to be processed by the audit system. The files may be either processed directly, in which case complete specifications for all format detail must be stored in the object computer, or an intermediate file may be prepared, which is in a standardized format.
Media Characteristics. There exist a variety of media on which information can be recorded. This section summarizes media which can be handled by the various systems. Most systems provide flexibil ity for accepting files on cards, tapes, or disks. Variations of media codes, such as tape codes of various manufacturers usually are handled by different versions of software packages.
Basic Functions And Utilities. Includes processing functions, which permit the auditor to analyze client files, and to display client data in a form suitable for analysis by the auditor.
Copying. Although there usually are utility programs available at the clients site, some generalized audit packages provide for file copying capabilities. Detail on systems analyzed are given below. In some cases the copying function includes a selection capability.
Sorting. Sorting refers to the arranging of a set of records in a specified order, according to sort keys. The order may be an alphabetic or numeric sequence. Ascending or descending sequences may be required. Several sort keys may be specified in some systems for one pass operation. In some system sorting is combined with other input, processing or output functions to speed up or to simplfy the auditor's task.
Multiple File Input. Ability to handle multiple files simultaneously on input improves flexibility of the package.
This is useful for the comparison of files, for merging and matching operations. This capability requires the appropriate number of input equipments needed for simultaneous operation.
Merging. This refers to the combining of records of two or more files, that are each in the same sort order, into one file, in that order. Merging is useful for making files more understandable to the auditor e.g., a vendor name file may be merged with a sales file to provide vendor names rather than vendor codes to the auditor.
File Validation. File validation refers to the checking of data for correctness, or compliance with applicable standards, rules and conventions. Copies of files can be validated through bit-by-bit comparison with a master file.
Discrepancies can be indicated and system reaction can be programmed.
File Matching. Matching of files permits the determination of identity of records or files. Duplicate records can be identified in one file, or by comparison of~~ files~ Numerical And Logical Operations. Auditing software provides assistance to the auditor in the evidence gathering process.
The auditor collects data from client's files, and puts these data in a form which permits analysis and auditing. Both during the collection process and during the analysis of the data numeric and logical processes are used to combine fields, to compare fields, and to summarize and select data.
Arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are available. Other capabilities are the counting of records, simple computation of percentages, and computation of standard deviations. Relational operations permit comparison of magnitudes of numeric fields on the basis of operators such as equal to, not equal to, greater than or less than and combinations of these. Logical capabi 1ities include AND, OR, and NOT operations, and a conditional operation similar to IF.•.• THEN.
Arithmetic Operations. Arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are available. Other needed capabilities are the counting of records, simple computation of percentages, and computation of standard deviations.
Relational Operations. Relational operations permit comparison of magnitudes of numeric fields on the basis of operators such as equal to, not equal to, greater than or less than and combinations of these.
Logical Operations. Logical capabilities include and, or, and not operations, and a conditional operation simi lar to IF •••. THEN.
Classification. Under this heading are grouped several.
functions which permit assignment of records into a set of predetermined classes. The two most common \'Jays are stratification and aging. Classification permits the auditor to separate records or information into sets which then can be examined according to different criteria. It may be required to examine all disbursements above a certain dollar amount, but to only sample those below that amount.
Stratification. Stratification is defined here as the separation of records into sets of classes. Stratification may be based on dollar amounts, or dollar ranges, in which case these ranges must be specified by the auditor. Often the system provides a set of ranges as a default capability.
Stratification may also be based on account classifications, or other criteria.
Aging refers to the placing of records into ranges on time based criteria. As an example all records may be classified into those from 0 to 3 months old, 3 to 6 months old, and older than 6 months.
Selection. The auditor selects those records from client files, which are of special interest to him. Selection may be based on record attributes, such as account number, vendor number, plant location etc., or it may be based on dollar range or account ranges, as defined during the classification process. Selection may also occur by means of sampling.
Sampling may be done on a periodic basis, i.e. every tenth record may be selected, or it may be done on a random basis.
Selection criteria may be combined by means of logical or relational operators. Selection may also occur on a temporary variable (a field produced as a result of an arithmetic calculation).
Summarization. Summarization refers to the summing of numeric totals, or subtotals, for items with common attributes, such as account number, vendor number etc. For purposes of internal control it is necessary to count and report total number of records. Summarization is used by the auditor to consolidate information of interest, which is fragmented in different files and records.
Diagnostic And Control Capabil ity. In this section the basic diagnostic capability of the software package is discussed.
Certain controls need to be exercised as part of an audit to assure integrity, and to maintain accuracy of the data. This pertains to the physical tape, the processing and the records resulting from the processing.
Report Preparation Capability. For many routine applications standard report formats are practical, and require only a minimum of specification. For ad-hoc reports, or one-time applications, report formats must however be flexible and must be easy to adjust. Points to be considered are number and widths of columns in reports, number of lines, heading and footing formats. Automatic editing capability with regard to dollar signs, commas and decimal points, zero suppression,. etc., if required. Functions which are necessary for internal control and maintenance of an audit trail are automatic line numbering, page numbering, record numbering, the counting of records, and the provision of control totals as required by the auditor. Another feature often provided is the ability to generate confirmation notices. Often provision for printing of mailing labels is also provided.
The NBS document compares the above capabi 1ities and features for seven general ized audit packages. A synopsis is provided below which provides a brief description of each of the packages. For the features of each package, the NBS document is referenced.
AUDITAPE. The system was originally developed in 1965 for internal use by a CPA firm in its audit practice. Based on its own experience and comments from clients the system was adapted for external use and is offered to clients and other organizations. A variety of tapes are available geared to vari ous makes of computers and to specific operat i ng systems.
There are approximately 600 users, including city, state and federal agencies.
The system has been prepared for several makes and types of machines, including sets of programs specially prepared and programs furnished by the manufacturers. Auditapes are in mach i ne 1anguage. Three different types of programs convert cl ient fi le reocrds into a standard Auditape format. IBM 1400 and Honeywell 200 machines use the basic edit program, DOS uses the manufacturer's utility, and as and DOS/VS use the expanded edit program. A set of specialized programs manipulate these standardized files and produce the desired output.
DYL 260. System offered since 1973, over 600 installed.
Listed in Datapro directory of commercial packages, won 1975 Datapro Award of Merit based upon satisfactory responses from user survey. Used by General Accounting Office and Veterans Administration.
A report writer, data manipulator, and file utility program, written in assembly language, and meant to be cataloged and used on the host computer. Required processing.
is controlled by simple parameters input on cards.
EASYTRIEVE. Initially installed in 1969. Rights acquired by present vendor in 1973. Over 750 systems installed as of December 1975. Version 6 released December 1975. Listed in Datapro "Hall of Fame". Currently in use in US Department of Cormnerce, US Department of Agriculture, and other Government agencies.
The system is written in assembly language and produces an audit report. It is a load-and-go system, and does not require intermediate program production and compilation. Options are available for interfacing with data base systems such as IMS and TOTAL. A CALL command permits use of auditor-written higher level language subroutines. A macro processor command processor permits use of auditor-defined macro routines.
EDP-AUDITOR. First installation was in 1970. Over 350 systems are installed in the U.S. and over 400 world-wide. Significant installations: Montgomery County Government, Rockville, Md., Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago, Dallas, Richmond, and San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis; National Automobile Dealers Association, McLean, Virginia.
EDP-AUDITOR is written in assembly language and produces an object code program which is executed to produce the audit listing. This type of system is a load-and-go type system. Up to 256 input files and 100 output files or reports can be specified. A library of routines is available supporting six auditing areas: file footing-control; exception analyses;
summary analyses; special processing routines; confirmation of accounts; and selection and sampling. EDP-AUDITOR consists of the CULPRIT system plus the library of audit routines.
Interfaces are available for data base management systems such as IDMS, IMS, DLl, TOTAL, DATACOM/DB etc., as well as for the TSO, complete cataloging and macro facility and exits are provided to user written programs.
HEWCAS. Software development started in 1972 at the HEW Audit Agency. Was first available in 1973. Released for general use 1 ~uly 1974. Has been installed at US Civil Service Commission, HEW Audit Agency, US Department of Labor, US Department of Commerce, and the US Government Printing Office.
HEWCAS is written in the BASIC programming language, and produces COBOL programs which can be compiled and ~xecuted on various machines, the user is prompted for the input specifications. Two simultaneous files can be handled on input, with any combination of media. Up to 91 simultaneous outputs are possible (one printer and 90 disk or tape files).
No user written routines can be used, but produced· COBOL programs can be saved. External program linkages are only possible by modification of the COBOL program.
MARK IV/AUDITOR. First delivery of Mark IV was in 1968. More than 1000 systems have been installed in the US and in other countries. AUDITOR is a special feature and was first introduced in 1976. Mark IV/AUDITOR has been installed at ERDA in Germantown, MD.
MARK IV/AUDITOR is written in assembly language and produces an assembly language program which is executed to produce results. The system can be considered a IIload-and-go ll system. It consists of the Mark IV system and the library of audit routin~s. Mark IV handles various data processing consideratioil~. in a manner transparent to the auditor. The auditor specifies the fi 1e characteristics and functions to be performed by fill ing out worksheets, which are translated into parameter cards. Standard file types and data bases are automatically supported, multiple files coordinated and up to 255 reports produced in one pass of the file. The auditor can sample, select, compute and report by specifying selection criteria and custom reports or by utilizing the library of audit routines. The library includes routines for aging, confirmation notices, random sampling, monetary sampling, stratification and grouping amoung others.
SCORE. First introduced in 1969. SCORE III in January 1970, SCORE IV in March 1972. Over 400 systems installed. Some Washington DC area installations include HUD, Maritime Administration, Department of Agriculture.
The system is written in COBOL and generates COBOL programs as output. Program generation is governed by about thirty different keywork parameter cards, of which generally only a few are necessary for any given run. The vendor states that IIno superfluous PROCEDURE DIVISION CODE is generated, so that programs are only as long as they need to be". The user can insert his own COBOL code at almost any point.