How to Become an Information Systems Auditor
The basic job of an information systems auditor is to evaluate an information system and ascertain that the computed data shows the necessary accuracy. The information systems auditor may also need to vet security of the system and ensure that the various systems in place are ensuring that the correct data is input into the system. The auditor must ensure that all parts of the information system perform the tasks that they are meant to. The auditor therefore needs to understand the business functions that have lead to the establishment of the information system so that their audits are relevant to the business needs.
A person can become a certified information systems auditor (CISA) by going through training and education that ultimately culminates in 200 multiple choice question exams that are administered through computers. The testing is done by professional testing agencies that are internationally recognized and the certification obtained can qualify the successful candidate to a career in conducting information system audits.
Education, Training and Certification
Before appearing for exams, candidates need to have a minimum of five years of auditing professional information systems and the experience has to be obtained within a 10 year period prior to the exam. The practice of information systems auditing is a constantly evolving subject. A candidate has to be well educated on many subjects before appearing for the certification exams. There are also some continuing education requirements to be met by the CISA so that the certification remains valid. There are a number of training courses available on line which can help you to get trained for appearing for the exams. Certification obtained from various software developers can greatly help a person who wants to become a CISA.
The Information Systems Auditor
Certified information system auditors or CISAs can be designated as security consultants or managers, or as internal auditors. The CISA must have an analytical mind that can spot errors in work done by others. This has to be done with absolute professionalism with only the requirements of the audit in mind.
Auditors should be able to take the help of software to identify any unusual activity in a system. This helps to identify areas which require more thorough auditing and thus pinpoint errors that are occurring either inadvertently or by design. This is especially necessary where processes are continuous. Here are a few other requirements for auditors:
- Information systems auditors should continually monitor the quality of the information systems and suggest changes which can quite often lead to cost reductions. This can be with respect to redundant reporting which is a result of multi- entry keying in which duplicates information. Savings can result from lesser computer time.
- An auditor needs to gain the respect of the organization in which the person is working. For this they must make themselves completely familiar with all the aspects of the business and commercial areas of the organization so that they can understand the value that the organization places to the information system they are auditing.
- The information systems auditor needs to be relevant and up to date on the latest technologies and software available for information systems so that he can suggest changes if these are found relevant to the business being audited.