INVESTIGATING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AUDIT CONTROLS IN FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS (A CASE STUDY OF SIXTEEN RURAL BANKS IN GHANA)

ABSTRACT
Investigating the effectiveness of information technology (IT) Audit controls in financial institutions was worth researching, regarding the increasing number of financial institutions resorting to computerization. Thus, these institutions would primarily depend on IT audit controls that are put in place to manage and guard the institutions’ overall business setup to achieve the institutions’ business goals or objectives. The main objectives of the research were to find out the kind of IT Audit Controls being used, Controls’ weakness, its causes and effects and the recommendations needed to ensure controls’ effectiveness. Sixteen computerized financial institutions were sampled and the IT Controls used were studied. In spite of the successes made by the computerized financial institutions, the sampled financial institutions helplessly admitted to the dangers posed by other IT security challenges. These IT security challenges were mainly as a result of internal control weakness which potentially can bring the institutions down if not checked. Considering the globalization of the computerized technology it was recommended that the financial institutions in the country should employ more of these IT Audit controls, especially Internet and E-Commerce Controls, Telecommunication Controls and Database Controls in the day-to-day transactions. Also for optimum effectiveness of these Controls, the computerized financial institutions should also pay every price to strengthen the internal controls to safeguard against avoidable IT Audit controls’ breaches and other potential security challenges that can break down the financial institutions. Further research must be undertaken to investigate the recent spate of global banking fraud on credit and debit cards of customers who patronize electronic commerce.


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.0 Background to the Study
The idea of Information Technology (IT) Audit which has been in existence since the mid-1960s has metamorphically undergone various stages, mainly due to unfolding discoveries made in the technology and the integration of the technology into businesses (Rainer et al., 2011).

Currently there are a lot of companies that rely on the Information Technology (IT) for their day-to-day operations; among such are Telecommunication companies, Banking institutions and many others. For these organizations, IT plays big part of their day-to-day activities including the employment of setup systems that are more dependable to enhance the institutions’ activities and operations. The above, thus underscores the fact that the application of IT in organizations, institutions, companies, enterprises and the like is constantly increasing.

Information Technology (IT) Audit which is also known as Information Systems (IS) Audit is the evaluation of organizations’ daily transactions, activities, procedures, operations or setups within an Information System infrastructure (Rainer et al., 2011). Thus the primary function of an IT audit is to electronically examine to find out the institutions’ capability to use Information Technology infrastructure to secure its hard earned valuables or assets and also communicate and disseminate information to appropriate people. In financial institutions these reviews are done to evaluate whether IT based financial organizations are adhering to standard accounting practices.

Information Technology (IT) Audits are usually performed by IT Audit professionals with professional certification from international organizations such as Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), Certified Information System Auditor (CISA), just to mention a few (Rainer et al., 2011).

1.1 Audit Controls
Audit Controls are usually institutions’ setups, mechanisms, frameworks and organizational structures which are used for the inspection of the accounting procedures and records by a trained auditor to eliminate or minimize dangers or losses to the organization. The Audit controls seek to address two main objectives, such as achieving the institutions’ goal and risks or losses which must be prevented (Kenneth, 2010).

“Without audit, no accountability; without accountability, no controls; without controls, no efficiency; without efficiency, no development” ( Daniel, 1999). This emphasizes the importance of audit in every organization.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Project Material  |  Attribute: 75 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: GH50  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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