By Clare Naden
The plethora of accounting packages and/or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in the market means auditors need more time and understanding to get all the information they need. A new standard has just been published that will help to make audit data collection more efficient and reliable for the entire industry.
ISO 21378, “Audit data collection,” aims to help auditors access and decipher audit data by standardizing the process of identification, classification, and collection. It will facilitate the accessibility and transparency of audit data, standardize the collection process, and avoid duplication of work. This should increase the efficiency of auditors, saving them valuable time and effort, as well as improving the effectiveness of the audit.
ISO 21378 defines a common framework for accounting data elements and provides the necessary information to extract what is relevant. It also provides a way of expressing the information consistently, regardless of the accounting package or ERP system used. It is applicable to data being extracted in areas such as general ledger, accounts receivable, sales, accounts payable, purchase, inventory, and property plant and equipment.
The new standard will come in useful for governments, internal and external auditors, auditees, and related stakeholders, such as vendors of ERPs and accounting software.
ISO 21378 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 295, “Audit data services,” whose secretariat is held by SAC, ISO’s member for China. It is available for purchase from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.
About the author
Clare Naden is news and communications specialist at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).