EDP : the auditors' challenge : [an honors thesis (HONRS 499)]
One controversial area in the broad spectrum of accounting knowledge is the effect of electronic data processing upon its future. Just as automation has changed or eliminated many other career opportunities, so has it changed that of the public accountant.In an attempt to understand the development of this subject and its potential effect upon the accounting profession, a survey has been made of current literature pertinent to the subject. From a study of the writings, it has been perceived that certain ideas have achieved a consensus of thinking within the profession.This paper will develop important points about auditing an electronic data processing system. Following a brief history, the two current auditing methods will be examined. The use of the computer as an audit tool and the benefits derived therefrom will be discussed, followed by a summarization of the effect of EDP upon internal controls. New internal controls which are needed will also be surveyed.Behind the review of internal controls, naturally, comes the beginning of the audit itself. The test deck and the auditor's program will be compared and scrutinized. Supporting the program are several audit procedures, some of which are new and exciting in their potential ramifications. Many of the newer techniques require one to have a degree of special training. How can the experienced auditor attain this special knowledge? They are also causing other questions. Has auditing become obsolete? What is the auditors’ future? These and other questions will continue to cause much deep thought among accountants. For truly, electronic data processing is the auditor's challenge.