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EDI and the image processing

Tuesday, April 3, 2012, 8:00 AM
This is a technological process where paper documents are converted into electronic form by scanning and then stored in PC memory for future use when need arises. If such documents are authorized, the process is done in electronic form since in most cases customers discard paper documents after images are saved in this form. However, questions arise as to whether electronic data is bona fide since it is believed that the processing procedure causes minor alterations hence electronic data being slightly different from the original. To avert this kind of scenarios, the auditor has to make sure that all controls provide sureness in that only genuine or legitimate documents are active. The auditor must also ensure that a document is scanned and its image is without errors before anyone attempts to discard the paper document. Such controls include computer countersigns that prevent unauthorized alterations to any image stored in electric form. SAS no.80 should be the point of reference by auditors. This is an Amendment to Statements on the standards of Auditing. The Evidential Matter (SAS 3.1) gives a clear guidance on image processing issues. This section is instrumental when it comes to matters of electronic evidence since it addresses on the implications on the audit. Apart from that, it suggests that auditors should use information technology to access evidence to support electronic transactions. In addition, the section advises that the auditor has no capability to reduce risks to zero given the technological advancements hence something more has to be done. This is why SAS 70 implemented by the Auditing Procedure Study comes in handy. It reports on the Processing of Transactions by Service Organizations. Duration is another pertinent issue when it comes to EDI and scanned images. Such images do not exist for more than a year hence the auditor has to keep coming up with various editing techniques. Communication technologies used to convey data are allowed for EDI, ATMs, electronic commerce and image processing. They include fiber cables, modems, satellites and protocols. Issues dealing with the security and control of EDI, ATMs, and electronic commerce are equally applicable here. This post discusses issues pertaining paper document conversion into electronic data. It answers the question on the authenticity of electronic data. It also states the role of auditors and outlines the sections of statutes governing the operations of electronic data. Security of electronic data is also mentioned under the discussion.

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