IT system audits based on national and international standards
The applicable legal and professional bodies' provisions in connection with audits require public auditors to audit the accounting-related IT system in addition to the actual figures. This includes both the used hardware and software and the data flow within the company as well as compliance with the requirements of data protection and information security. It relates both to the actual bookkeeping system and all preliminary systems, the results of which are reflected in the company’s financial accounting and consequently influence the financial statements to be audited significantly.
The security and functioning of IT systems and the effectiveness of the IT-based and IT-related control systems, however, should be reviewed at regular intervals also for companies whose financial statements are not audited and independent of the audit of the financial statements. Only a safe IT environment is a really functioning IT environment. These reviews are a continuous process, as the IT systems are subject to permanent transformations and changes at an ever faster rate. A company’s management – not always having an intimate knowledge of all aspects of IT systems – must be in a position to rely on its own IT specialists, without delegating the entire responsibility to them.
The speed at which technology and the demands on technology are changing is remarkable. If software systems are replaced and in this context the old data are moved onto the new system (migrated) the complete and correct transfer of the data must be ensured. This applies in particular to all accounting-relevant systems, but also to any other IT-based systems of the company. This is where migration testing is a useful means to ensure such security.
Companies and auditors are challenged over and over by the processing and analysis of vast amounts of data. One problem in this connection is performance, and additionally the possibilities of analyses are, as a rule, regulated by the software used in the company.
Our experienced auditors use the software IDEA for analyzing data, as this is the software used by the German fiscal authorities in connection with tax audits, and the IDEA-based software AIS TaxAudit professional. With this software it is possible, for example prior to a tax audit, to simulate this tax audit in order to check compliance with the requirements of the ‚Principles of Data Access and Auditing of Digital Documents’ made by the fiscal authorities. Also other knowledge – for example to disclose potential irregularities – may be derived from IT-based data analyses, which enable a company’s management to counteract in time.
IT and tax law
Within the process of simplifying the German taxation system, more and more duties are shifted from the fiscal authorities to the taxpayers. As a result of these new technologies taxpayer are required, for example, to provide additional documents and supporting documentation and to make taxation-relevant data available for electronic evaluation (‚asymmetric reduction of bureaucracy’). This includes requirements such as the ‚Principles of Data Access and Auditing of Digital Documents’, or the electronic transfer of financial statements (‚e-balance sheet’), but also the demands made on verification and archiving systems in connection with electronic or subsequently digitalized vouchers. The obstacles to moving the accounting system to a foreign country are still high; the demand for advice is equally high also in this respect.
In this relation the broad variety of services offered by Trinavis is a clear advantage. Here public auditors, tax consultants, lawyers and IT specialists are working in teams across the disciplines to ensure that the problems are examined under all aspects to arrive at optimum results for the clients.
Overview of our services
- IT systems audit according to national and international standards
- Regulations and standards by the Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer in Deutschland e. V. (Institute of German Public Auditors - IDW) – in particular standard IDW PS 330
- Regulations and standards by ISACA as the professional organisation of Certified Information Systems Auditors (CISA)
- IT systems audits as an integral part of audits of financial statements and consolidated financial statements
- IT systems audits as a service for third parties – in particular for other public auditors/public audit firms
- Migration testing
- Processing and analysis of vast amounts of electronic data for different purposes
- Verification of data based on the Principles of Data Access and Auditing of Digital Documents for compliance with the requirements of the fiscal authorities
- Simulation of tax audits using data based on the Principles of Data Access and Auditing of Digital Documents
- Consulting at the intersection of tax law and IT – Principles of Data Access and Auditing of Digital Documents, e-balance sheet, electronic invoice, moving accounting to foreign countries
Auditors, Tax Consultants, Lawyers - We focus on real estate
Trinavis is a medium-sized audit and tax consultancy firm with more than 200 qualified staff located in Berlin and Essen. Our auditors, tax consultants and lawyers provide one-stop solutions for accounting-related, tax and business law questions. Most of our clients are companies in the real estate sector. As a member of PrimeGlobal, a worldwide leading association of independent audit and tax consultancy firms, we have access to international expertise which is of benefit to our clients requiring cross-border solutions.