The Information Technology Audit

The Information Technology Audit

David Reavis (Texas A&M University – Texarkana, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4983-5.ch014
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Abstract

As a critical component in almost every organization, Information Technology may provide services that allow the organization to function and in many cases allow the organization to achieve a competitive advantage. As technology costs and functionality rise, many organizations risk losing the perspective needed to ensure that their investment in technology is appropriate and well spent. This chapter discusses some auditing techniques that may help any organization to test their IT functions to make sure that the outcomes are appropriate given the costs of technology. After discussing the background of IT audits, several functional areas are discussed with example goals and suggestions for evaluating IT functions.
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Background

Why Audit IT?

Technology has become a critical part of most organizations. Not only is it required for operations, it is the method many organizations use to implement their business processes. From the cash register in a retail store to the customer database in a financial institution, technology allows the organization to compete in their chosen market and often provides a competitive advantage for one or a few key players. The most prominent audit for many organizations is the financial audit. The financial audit is done to verify that the financial statements of an organization fairly represent the financial position of the organization and to assure that the most important assets in the organization are properly accounted for. Many organizations now consider information technology one of their most critical assets and the technology audit provides a way to verify that IT is conducting it functions in a way that supports the objectives of the organization. McCafferty (2012) emphasizes the importance of maintaining accountability for the CIO and the IT audit is one of the primary tools for IT accountability.

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