Information Systems Auditing Course Sample Syllabus

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Thank you to Kevin Kobelsky from Baylor University for contributing this content!

Course Objectives & Description:

Information technology (IT) is a primary driver of performance improvement in corporate America, and now permeates all aspects of operations and accounting in all but the smallest organizations. This is having a profound effect on the accounting profession. In October, 1995, Bob Elliott, chair of the AICPA Special Committee on Assurance Services, reported to the AICPA Council:

Information technology is probably the single most important factor affecting future information flows and CPA services. It affects all aspects of the CPA’s work: how and when information is created, processed, stored, communicated, acquired, refined and interpreted.

With the increased capabilities of IT have come new risks for firms and for their auditors. Audit firms are finding that they can no longer audit “around the computer.” This requires CPAs to understand the types of risk arising in IT-based systems and to consider their impact on a clients' business and the audit.

This course introduces students to these types of risks, the implications these risks have for the traditional audit, and the other services public accountants provide to address IT-based risks. IT is also a powerful tool that accountants and auditors must know how to harness. Students will become proficient in applying ACL, the leading software to conduct computer-assisted audit techniques (CAATs).

This will be a seminar course. Each meeting will focus on a specific topic. Key concepts will be introduced and integrated into an information security framework. Students will be able to identify the key threats arising in IT-based systems and discuss solutions to these threats. Students will apply these concepts by developing a security policy for a real-world organization.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of the major threats associated with the implementation and operation of IT-based accounting information systems to recommend control processes that are useful in real-world settings.
  • Evaluate alternative frameworks for controlling IT-based accounting systems.
  • Apply documentation techniques to be able to rigorously describe an IT-based accounting system.
  • Apply computer-assisted audit techniques to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of an accounting or auditing process.