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EDI Audit and Security

Wednesday, July 4, 2012, 8:00 AM
When you switch to EDI, there is often a change in thinking that has to take place for the purposes of regarding auditing and security information. When you move to EDI, auditors will not have the ability to reply on the old methods of looking through paper files and audit trails, and they have to come up with new ways of confirming transactions. It is essential make sure that auditors recognize that EDI is not something that auditors will understand right off the bat, and to educate them on the topic. A paperless place means that new procedures have to be put in place. These controls can relate to applications or they can relate to general things. There are lots of controls that are intended to ensure that there is thoroughness, precision, and confirmation of EDI information exchange. Security is a lot harder in a paperless environment. It is more critical than ever before that security play a main role in the way that people think about their new paperless environments. They have to control access to EDI systems and other systems with good passwords and other tools. You dont want hackers to get in and use your data. Employees might get the system to automatically write out their own checks. That would be horrible. That would be a disaster. External security systems may include a lot of detailed security protocols. The legal elements of a paperless environment have gotten the legal community very interested. What is a contract when there are limited paper documents, what is a signature, and what type of document is required to make sure a trading agreement is formalized. These are all questions that the legal community is trying to answer. They are having problems coming up with the answers, however. A lot of corporations dont look into the importance of a trading partnership. Before an EDI relationship begins, it is necessary that you and your partner review and look at all the legal issues within a paperless environment, and they have to make sure that no more arguments come up. EDI requires two parties working together. One challenge is making sure that both parties coordinate all the details. Despite the constant efforts to keep trading partners active, youll often see that they are not as good as they used to be. You could have minimal control over the decision-making process if you have to work with a trading partner. There are a lot of legal challenges and other challenges that come up when your EDI program is just starting out.

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