IT MANAGEMENT AUDIT AND CONTROLThe Application Control Framework - Input Controls 11
SOURCE DOCUMENT DESIGN
Source documents are often used when there will be a delay between capture in the data about astate or event and input of that data into computer systems. From control point of view, a welldesigned source document achieve several purposes.
It reduces the likelihood of data recording errors
It increases the speed with which data can be recorded
It controls the work flow
It facilitates data entry into a computer system
It increases the speed and accuracy with which data can be readSome important guidelines of effective source document design are:i)Preprint all constant informationii)Pre-numbered source documentsiii)Where possible provide MCQsiv)Use tick marks to identify field size errors
v)Space items appropriatelyvi)Provide titles, headings, notes and instructionsvii)Arrange fields for ease of use.viii)Space items appropriately on forms
DATA ENTRY SCREEN DESIGN
If data is keyed into a system via a terminal, high quality screen design is important to minimizinginput errors and to achieving an effective and efficient input subsystem.
All the information needed to perform a task must be on a screen, yet users still should be ableto identify quickly the information they require. Where screens must be used to capture atransaction the screens should be broken at some logical point. Symmetry can be achieved bygrouping like elements together, balancing the number of elements on both sides of the screen,ensuring elements are aligned and using lank space and line delimiters strategically.If the screen is used for direct entry input of data i.e. source document data entry the systemmust be an image of the source document in which the data is first captured and transcribed. Inthe former case the screen guides users though the data capture process. In the later case, usersshould be able to keep their eyes on the source document during the keying process and berequired to view the screen only when they encounter some problem.
Captions indicate the nature of the data to he entered in a field on a screen. Designconsiderations include structure, size, type font, display, intensity, format, alignment, justification and spacing. Captions must be fully spelled out if a screen is used for direct dataentry because the screen guides the user during the data capture process. If the data entry ismade through source documents captions can be abbreviated because users can refer to thesource document to obtain the full meaning of a caption.Captions must be abbreviated clearly from their associated data entry field for e.g. upper casetype font bight be used for all captions and lower case type font might be used for the dataentered by the keyboard operator. Similarly different display intensities can be used.
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