Auditing is a term that has origin based on financial reporting. It basically means the systemic application of methods and tools to express opinion on the correctness, completeness of financial reporting, documents and accounts of an organization that how far these are presented fairly.
What is IT Auditing
IT auditing or IS auditing was initially EDP auditing and the need for IS audit arose because of the use of information systems as a critical tool for the organization in business functions. Since critical information, that could potentially have material effect on the opinion being expressed by auditors, started to be processed and stored on information system, therefore, the need for IS Auditing emerged. Basically to gain assurance that these information systems are also working as intended and the controls are in place in these systems and are working correctly to ensure that the information processed and stored in reliable.
An information system audit or information technology audit basically examines the internal control structure in an information systems set up.
Difference Between Financial Audit and IS Audit
While the financial auditing is more concerned with the evaluation that the accounts have been kept in line with the accounting standards, IS audit is all about controls in the information system. Since IT systems mostly work in an automated environment, therefore, even a single control failure or absence may have far reaching effects on the whole operations.
Who Can be a good IT Auditor
Most of the time an IT auditor will be dealing with some sort of information technology. Therefore, a good taste for computer systems will be very helpful if you want to pursue a career as an IT auditor. Though, there is no qualification requirement to be an IT auditor, but still if you do not have a love for information technology, it will be a very hard career path for you.
What Qualification are required
No qualifications are required to perform an IT audit but you must understand that it is a highly technical job and most of the time you will be auditing mission critical information systems. You are not likely to get a job if the company knows that you do not have a taste for information technology. Though financial auditors can also be good IT auditor, but in the heart of my heart I do know that having an information technology qualification really helps.
Apart from formal education, there is a popular information systems audit certification called CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) offered by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association). You need a graduation degree to appear for CISA certification and then after meeting the five year experience requirements you can become a CISA. And CISA is one of the highest paid information systems certifications in the United States.