The Challenges and Prospects of Auditing in a Computer Environment
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Chapter one on The Challenges and Prospects of Auditing in a Computer Environment
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Human being, either young, old, literate and illiterate are all product of their various environment i.e. the environment (internal or External) aects them either positively or negatively, even their work and inputs into anything, due to the rational and unpredictable nature of man, that makes them react to stimulants. Before considering, the reaction towards auditing, auditing can be traced back to the ancient times where the receipts and payments of an estate or a manor were read to the lord or proprietor, or the head of a manor. It began more like a stewardship kind of dealings, where houses are entrusted into the hand of caretakers, who report to the landlord at the end of every month, etc. the origin of the word auditing is from a Latin word “Audire” (meaning to hear). At the beginning, the dealing was a kind of a sole – proprietorship business, since it involves a landlord and a steward/caretaker; but with industrial revolution, there was an increase in business transactions, which ushers in partnership, and other forms or types of business. Hence, financial transactions becomes much and the whole processes becomes complex and required more formal and improved accountability. Considering the issue of audit reaction to the computer environment, it becomes proper to note that prior to the new era (computer) audit had already been in practice, though in a traditional/manual environment, as such, there are bound to be either challenges or prospects in the change to computer environment. This holds to the fact, that human beings react to changes in either positive or negative way, and they constitute the most important resources, in an organizational setup. Over the years human beings had been used to a particular audit environments and it has become part of their routine work; so introduction of a new thing could and could not be a problem, irrespective of its future contribution, but as a result of human level of adoption to new things. Hence, the starting point is how fast or slow, the organizations members of sta adopts to new policies, where this is in place, then the challenges and prospects can now be determined.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF M-TEL
From M–TEL’s NEW IMAGE. A presentation to new members of the Mtel family October 2003. Mtel was established in 1996, to run the operations of NITEL’S Total Access Communication System (TACS). It was merged with NITEL in April 2001 and demerge on 1st April, 2003. It has the vision of becoming, the number two mobiles operators in Nigeria in both consumer and business markets in five years, and have a reliable state of the art network infrastructure that meets the ever increasing demanding requirements of its customers and support a wide range of mobile voice and data service. Also, that its organization will have a “customer first” culture that is plainly visible by the respectful way it treats its customer and by the utmost care that is taken throughout the organization to maintain the promised service levels. And Mtel is aimed at achieving this vision through the telecommunication services it provides to the general public.
THE STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The audit problems with organization today can be dealt with from two broad perspective i.e. technological problem and historical problems
This sense of the technical problem has to do with lack of technological know how. Since audit in a computer environment is a modern or contemporary way of audit, it entails a formal or an informal training on how to do this, which so many people (auditors) and their organization lacks, and it also involves extra spending on the purchases, maintenance, etc. of computer and its accessories, which organization try to avoid in their bids to maximize profit. The historical aspect of it could be referred to as familiarity with the traditional way, which result from continuous practice, hence making it diicult for one to adopt to current or modern way of doing it, so easily. Furthermore, the size of the organization, like my case study whose area oices here in Kaduna is small in size and in member of sta, also determine the use of modern audit (Computer) or the traditional (manual) way of doing it, i.e. if the size is big, computer audit will be embarked on to facilitate the whole audit process, while if it is small in size, the traditional way can be used, since the work load in little.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
Many organization have seem insist on using the traditional way of audit, due to the ignorant of the positive and negative eects of computer audit on the audit department of an organization. As such, I the researcher is embarking on this study using Mtel, Kaduna, as a case study to bring out the possible eects and defects of computer audit in an accounting system of an organization, aer which the eects will be compare as against the defects, hence knowing whether to use computer audit or not. And my objectives are:
1. To ensure proper accountability in financial management, in our organization (Mtel)
2. To ensure, efficiency and effectiveness in the actualization of the organizational target.
3. To ensure an equitable distribution of service in proportion to the money paid.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The main reason or purpose of setting up any commercial organization is to maximize profit, but most often, this purpose is not being achieved as a result of mis – management of resources (financial and Material). Hence, this research work will enlighten organizations and potential investors/entrepreneur on how to guard against mis – management of resources, by building a solid frame work for check and balances in an organizational set – up.
Here, I, (Researcher) is using a tentative statement or assumption to guide my enquiries in the organization, to know the positive impact and effectiveness of computer audit to the organization. i.e. Hi: Computer audit facilitates and enhances audit work. Ho: Computer audit does not facilitates and enhances audit work. These two assumptions above are the basis for which I am giving out my questionnaires.
SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This research work is limited to the communication industries, precisely Nigerian Mobile Telecommunication Ltd (Mtel) Kaduna Area Oice. The time of submission of this project is short, that I, the researcher limit my work to the area oice of Mtel Kaduna. Also, due to the administrative secrecy on the part of the organization, because of her competitors, I was unable to get all valuable information that would have helped me in this research work, besides, time was not enough for me, since I had to combine both the class work and the research work. Finally, accessibility to relevant textbooks also, constitutes a constraint on my work.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Computer: An electronic machine that can save information and do things with it according to a set of instructions called a programme.
2. Audit: It is an independent scrutiny and examination of organization books of account and financial statement, to states, ones opinion of, on the accuracy and completeness of the records prepared.
3. Challenges: Something that tests strength, skill, or ability especially in a way that is interesting.
4. Prospect: Chances of future success.
5. Environment: All the situation, event, people etc. that influence the way in which people live or work.
6. Traditional: Following ideas and methods that have existed for a long – time without being interested in anything new or different.
7. Manual: Operated or done by hand or without the help of electricity, computers, etc.
8. Flowchart: A diagram that uses connecting lines and a set of conventional symbols to show the sequence of operations and the flow of data in a computer programme.
9. Hardware: These are the physical components of a computer system, such as the chips, disk drives, monitors, etc.
10. Data: This is piece of basic raw fact that needs to be processed to produce a meaningful information
11. Information: This is a processed data into meaningful and useful terms
12. Input Device: This is a medium/device through which raw data are being fed into the computer.
13. Output Device: This is the device through which a processed data/information can be made available for human consumption.
14. Binary Code: This is a coding system that uses alternative elements, 0 or 1 true or false, etc.
15. Bit: A binary, digit, this is the smallest unit of information that a computer can handle represented by a single 0 or 1.
16. Byte: This is a group of eight bits (representing, for example, a number or letter) that the computer operates on as a single unit.
17. Magnetic Media: These are primarily storage media but are oen used at an intermediate stage of data input. E.g. Magnetic Tape, Magnetic Disk. Etc.
18. Data Base: A collection of information organized for rapid search and retrieval.
19. Disk Drive: A device that rotates a magnetic storage disk and that can record data on the disk and read data from the disk.
20. Floppy Disk: A thin flexible plastic that stores data in the form of magnetic patterns on it surface
21. Interface: The hardware and software that enable a user to interact with a computer (called a user interface) or that enable two computer system to interact.
22. Logic Circuit: An electronic switching circuit that performs a logic operation, its binary output is entirely determined by the combination of binary input.
23. Memory: A storage area in which a computer saves data and from which it retrieves data.
24. Microprocessor: A single chip containing all the components found in a computer’s central processing unit.
25. Network: A system of computers, terminals, and databases connected by communication lines.
26. Programme: A step by step series of instructions directing the computer to carry out a sequence of actions in order to perform an operation or to solve a problem.
27. Software: Instructions or programme used by a computer to do its work; distinguished from hardware.
28. Random Access Memory (RAM): A temporary computer memory system in which data can be stored and from which data can be quickly retrieved.
29. Read Only Memory (ROM): A permanent computer memory system containing data and instruction that can be retrieved and used but never altered.
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