Electronic Data Processing

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ddpCHAPTER 5
Systems Development and Program Change Activities

* Participants in System Development

1. System professionals- these are the system analyst, system engineers, and programmers who actually build the system. They gather the facts about the problem of the system, analyzes it and they formulates the solution to solve the problems. 2. End users- are the one using the system. These include the managers, operations personnel, accountants, and internal auditors. 3. Stakeholders- are the individuals either within or outside the organization who have the interest in the systems but are not end users. These include accountants, internal and external auditors, and the internal steering committee that oversees system development. 4. Accountants/ Auditors- are those professionals who address the controls, accounting, and auditing issues for system development. This involvement should include the internal auditors and the IT auditors.

* Why Are Accountants and Auditors Involved with SDLC?

1. Experts in financial transaction processes
Because of their background, experiences, and training, accountants and auditors are experts in financial transactions and thus can provide critical input into the system regarding controls, integrity, timeliness, and a number of other important aspects of financial transactions.

2. Quality of AIS is determined in SDLC
The quality of accounting information rests directly on the SDLC activities that produce accounting information system (AIS). These systems deliver accounting information to internal and external users. The accountants responsibility is to ensure that the systems employ proper accounting conventions and rules, and possess adequate controls.

* How Are Accountants Involved with SDLC?

1. Users (e.g., user views and accounting techniques)
Like all users, accountants must specify accounting techniques to be used, internal control requirements, and special algorithms

2. Members of SDLC development team (e.g., Control Risk being minimized) The accountants may be consulted to provide advice or to determine if the proposed system constitutes an internal control risk.

3. Auditors (e.g., auditable systems)
Accounting systems must be audible. Some computer audit techniques require special features that need to be designed into the system during the SDLC.

* Information Systems Acquisition

1. In-House Development
These firms design their own information systems through in-house development activities.

2. Purchase Commercial systems
Faced with many competing packages, each with unique features and attribute, management must choose the system and the vendor that best serve the needs of the organization.

* Trends in Commercial Software

* Relatively low cost for general purpose software
* Industry-specific vendors
* Businesses too small to have in-house IS staff
* Downsizing & distributed data processing

* Types of Commercial Systems

1. Turnkey Systems
These are completely finished and tested systems that are ready for implementation. And are often general-purpose or systems customized to a specific industry. Turnkey systems are usually sold as compiled program modules, and users have limited ability to customize them to their specific needs.

2. General accounting systems
These systems are designed to serve a wide variety of user needs. By mass-producing a standard system, the vendor is able to reduce the unit cost of these systems to a fraction of in=house development costs.

3. Special-purpose systems
Some software vendors create special-purpose systems that target selected segments of the economy. Software vendors have thus developed standardized systems to deal with industry-specific procedures.

4. Office automation systems
Are computer systems that improve the productivity of office workers and include word processing packages, database...
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