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15 January, 2016 - 09:49




This chapter presents a conceptual framework for the analysis of controls in business systems, describing process controls that may be found in any information process. As almost all business processes incorporate information technology, many of the controls you read about are automated and do not require human intervention. As more and more business is conducted over the Internet, organizations will be increasingly reliant on computerized controls to protect both their operations processes and information processes. These controls help prevent (or detect or correct) problems such as the one that occurred at Salomon Brothers.

You should notice that many of the controls described in this chapter provide assurance about the quality of the data entry process. Such controls take on increased importance with enterprise systems because they prevent erroneous data from entering the system and affecting the many tightly connected enterprise system processes that follow initial entry of the data. We want to have good controls, for example, over the entry of customer orders so that we correctly record data about the customer order, the shipment, the inventory balance, the customer’s invoice, the general ledger entries for sales, accounts receivable, inventory, cost of goods sold, and the inventory replenishment process.


Good data entry controls are also important for those engaging in e-business. For example, if we are to receive customer orders electronically, our systems must have sufficient controls within them so that they accept only authorized, accurate order data. If we don’t have these controls, we might make inaccurate shipments or shipments to those who have no intention of paying for the goods being shipped.



  • To be able to prepare a control matrix
  • To describe the generic process control plans introduced in this chapter
  • To describe how these process controls accomplish control goals
  • To describe why these generic process controls are important to organizations with enterprise systems and those that are engaged in e-business