A flowchart can be very useful in auditing critical business apps and programs this kind of as company resource planning programs (ERP) and services oriented architecture (SOA) methods. As IT auditors we are concerned with obtaining a very clear comprehending of the risks and controls in the technology under review. Flowcharts aid an accurate assessment of an IT environment.

According to Wikipedia, the simple definition of a flowchart is a kind of diagram that represents an algorithm or procedure that demonstrates information and its motion usually with arrows. The use of flowcharts is typical in a lot of fields for analysis, style, documentation and process management.

Flowcharts are most beneficial to visually screen enterprise processes and the supporting technological innovation. Auditors can emphasis on various factors of information flows and infrastructure in these diagrams dependent on the assessment of pitfalls and controls.

Occasions that can be captured in a flowchart incorporate information inputs from a file or databases, selection details, logical processing and output to a file or report. Pitfalls and controls in a enterprise process can be documented visually and analyzed.

Four basic styles are frequently utilized to create flowcharts. A sq. is utilised for a procedure (e.g. insert, change, save). A square with a wavy base is employed for a doc. A diamond is employed for a determination level (e.g. sure/no, correct/bogus). A sideways cylinder is utilized for knowledge storage (e.g. database). These traditional shapes were originally proven by IBM and other pioneers of information technology.

Further designs incorporate circles, ovals and rounded rectangles for the start off and stop of a company approach. Arrows show 'flow control' between a resource symbol and a concentrate on image. A parallelogram signifies enter and output e.g. knowledge entry from a form, display to person.

In generating flowcharts, there are some standard rules to stick to. Start off and stop points need to be obviously defined. The amount of detail documented in the flowchart ought to be acceptable to the subject issue covered. The creator of the flowchart need to have a distinct comprehending of the approach and the supposed audience must be ready to follow the flowchart effortlessly.

Singapore nifty of IT auditors, uses Microsoft Visio thoroughly to generate flowcharts and to evaluate organization processes. A flowchart is generally created with vertical columns symbolizing distinct departments or phases that are element of an total enterprise method. Interfaces amongst departments can be revealed whether automatic or handbook connections that aid the business process.

Flowcharts can explain the controls on data inputs, processing and outputs. Input controls might contain edit and validation checks. Processing controls can be in the type of control totals or milestones. Output controls could consist of mistake checking and reconciliations. This kind of a representation on a flowchart permits an auditor to discover places in a business approach with weak or non-existent controls.

An illustration of technology that can be recognized by means of flowchart analysis is business useful resource planning application this sort of as Oracle e-Business Suite and SAP. Input controls are established through certain 'rules' to make sure the validity of knowledge. Procedure controls are applied to higher-threat features, transactions or types. Output controls consist of stories and reconciliations.

Another instance of complex technologies that can be recognized through flowcharts is support oriented architecture (SOA). This architecture is composed of numerous world wide web and software factors that are integrated to hook up service companies with service shoppers. 'Web services' help distinct company procedures. Every of these internet providers will typically have controls on info inputs, processing and output. The flowchart is crucial to understand this kind of internet companies and their integration in a broader atmosphere normally by means of an Enterprise Services Bus (ESB).

In conclusion, a flowchart can be employed by IT auditors to assess a organization process. Distinct facets of the procedure can be emphasized such as risks, controls, interfaces, determination details, technology infrastructure and factors. The popular expression of a photo is equal to a thousand words and phrases is accurate. A flowchart can seize essential factors that verbiage and text are not able to very easily match. We motivate the IT audit, danger and management communities to use this effective instrument in performing their respective features.