There are certain special circumstances of the edp audit which make it different form other manual audit which make it different from other manual audits. These are discussed in brief below:
â€¢ Absence of audit trail â€“ In the computerized accounting and processing it is possible that there may not exist the proper working sequence that is available in a manual accounting system. As a result it may pose serious hindrance for the checking of the auditor. For example, in a manual accounting the purchase vouchers are first entered in the purchase book then the entries are posted to the ledger.
From ledger accounts the trail balance is made. Trial balance makes the base for the preparation of the profit and loss account and the balance sheet. In an edp accounting, the data may be available in the final stage only after being entered in to the system. An auditor may fine only the end figure to verify, without getting the intermediary records. This makes his job of verification little difficult. Manipulations might have been done in the records that may be difficult to detect.
â€¢ Chances of manipulations â€“ the records kept on computer are more vulnerable to manipulations. Best were the days when the accounting was done in the bounded books. Any changes in such records were noticeable immediately. Neither the figures could be changed, nor any pages of such records could be removed.
Now in an edp accounting figures as well as pages could be changed with the stroke of a finger. Moreover such after changes are not visible at all. Therefore the auditor should be very careful while checking the computerized accounts. It should be kept in mind that it might contain manipulations.
â€¢ Leakage of confidential information â€“ It is very easy to copy delete or steal the records maintained on a computer. Any person who has an access to the computer can copy any important file or record within a fraction of a minute. The records kept on a computer should be properly guarded also.
â€¢ Computer virus and other failures- Records maintained on computer are prone to much distortion. The most important of such problems is the virus that can damage the whole data within no time. Computer and software breakdowns can damage the hard disc of the computer and as such the data may be lost permanently.
Proper safeguard against such misshapenness should be made. One solution for such problems is that proper backup of all the records be made and kept at a secure place.