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Modern Management And Computerization.

Modern management today is purely computerized. Computerization ensures precision and speed of work. Be it as it may, this technology has come up with its challenges for both managers and auditors.

One of the distinctiveness of computer information system is complicated designs of computer hardware and software. Not many managers and auditors understand all the features of computer hardware and software. This retards the information processing functions and subsequent interpreting of the results.

Running of certain programs (software) also requires computer skills and expertise, further complicating the work of auditors and management. Another characteristic of CISS is that in most cases the information is available and accessible to every member of the organization. Most other information can also be found on the companys website. This threatens the security of vital and secret information. Loss of information is another problem experienced especially by the auditors while auditing through the computer. Clients usually destroy the manual records of accounting transactions once the same has been fed to the computer system. Once this data stored in the computer system gets lost, no any other information can be available for either decision-making or auditing purposes. Though controls in both the manual and computer system are similar, theres a slight contrast in their design and operation.

In both the manual and computer system, there is restricted access to information for unauthorized users. In a manual system, a lock and key approach is used whereas passwords are used for the computer system to restrict access. Passwords are only issued to authorized users.

In a computer system , it is expected to have back up storage of information because data is susceptible to loss and/ or manipulation. But with a manual system, this is not necessary. A manual system cannot be able to perform self-checks in order to detect missing data and erroneous data. In a computer system, there exist certain controls over data. These include the missing fields check and the valid character check.

The missing fields check ensures completeness of records/ transactions whereas the valid character check only allows entry of certain characters and one cannot make errors.

Computerization in the small business has very many advantages. First, the time taken in updating the financial records is reduced. Secondly, some routine jobs like invoicing of cash collections. Adding and deleting of information/transactions is speeded up. The risk of clerical errors while making calculations and transferring data between records is also reduced. Any up to- date record on the financial position is always available (Garson, 1999)

However, the use of the computer system is to record financial records suffers from some setbacks in small or medium sized firms. For once, not all employees would have the necessary computer skills to enable them effectively manipulate data in soft form. Operators of data may also ignore or fail to appreciate the significance of screen error messages and be unaware that data is incorrectly computerized. Financial records in small and medium sized firms are prone to unauthorized access. They also lack back up facilities due to inadequate financial resources.

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