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Chapter 3

Systems Documentation Techniques


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Learning Objectives

Prepare and use data flow


diagrams to understand,
evaluate, and document
information systems.
Prepare and use flowcharts to
understand, evaluate, and
document information systems.

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What Is Documentation?
Set of documents and models
Narratives, data flow models, flowcharts

Describe who, what, why, when, and where of systems:


Input, process, storage, output, and controls

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Why Should You Learn Documentation?


You need to be able to read documentation in all its forms:
narratives, diagrams, models.
You need to be able to evaluate the quality of systems,
such as internal control based in part on documentation.
SAS 94 requires independent auditors to understand all
internal control procedures.
Documentation assists in auditor understanding and
documentation of their understanding

Sarbanes-Oxley states that management:


Is responsible for internal control system
Is responsible for assessing the effectiveness of the IC System
Both management and external auditors need to document
and test IC System

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Data Flow Diagrams


Graphically describes the flow of data within a system
Four basic elements

Entity

Data Flow

Process

Data Store

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Entity
Represents a source of data or input into the system
or
Represents a destination of data or output from the
system

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Data Flows
Movement of data among:
Entities (sources or destinations)
Processes
Data stores

Label should describe the information moving

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Process
Represents the transformation of data

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Data Store
Represents data at rest

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Data Flow Diagram Levels


Context
Highest level (most general)
Purpose: show inputs and outputs into system
Characteristics: one process symbol only, no data stores

Level-0
Purpose: show all major activity steps of a system
Characteristics: processes are labeled 1.0, 2.0, and so on

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DFD Creation Guidelines


Understand the system

Ignore certain aspects of the


system
Determine system
boundaries
Develop a context DFD
Identify data flows
Group data flows
Number each process

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Identify transformational
processes
Group transformational
processes
Identify all data stores
Identify all sources and
destinations
Label all DFD elements
Subdivide DFD

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Flowcharts
Use symbols to logically depict transaction processing
and the flow of data through a system.
Using a pictorial representation is easier to understand
and explain versus a detailed narrative.

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Flowchart Symbol Categories


Input/Output
Processing
Storage

Miscellaneous

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Flow Chart Symbol Categories


(contd)

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Types of Flowcharts
Document
Illustrates the flow of documents through an organization
Useful for analyzing internal control procedures

System
Logical representation of system inputs, processes, and
outputs
Useful in systems analysis and design

Program
Represent the logical sequence of program logic

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Document Flowchart

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Document Flowchart (contd)

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System Flowchart

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Program Flowchart

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