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SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

AND PROGRAM CHANGE


ACTIVITIES
CHAPTER 5

PARTICIPANTS IN SYSTEMS
DEVELOPMENT
Systems professionals are systems analysts,
systems engineers, and programmers.
End users are those for whom the system is
built
Stakeholders are individuals either within or
outside the organization who have an
interest in the system but are not end users
Accountants/Auditors are those professionals
who address the controls, accounting, and
auditing issues for systems development

Why Are Accountants and


Auditors Involved with SDLC?
the creation of an information system
entails significant financial
transactions
the nature of the products that
emerge from the SDLC

How Are Accountants Involved


with the SDLC?
accountants are users
accountants participate in systems
development as members of the
development team.
accountants are involved in systems
development as auditors

INFORMATION SYSTEMS
ACQUISITION
they develop customized systems inhouse through formal systems
development activities
They purchase commercial systems
from software vendors

In-House Development
Many organizations require systems that
are highly tuned to their unique operations.
These firms design their own information
systems through in-house systems
development activities.
In-house development requires maintaining
a full-time systems staff of analysts and
programmers who identify user information
needs and satisfy their needs with custom
systems

Commercial Systems
Four factors have stimulated the growth of the commercial
software market:
(1) the relatively low cost of general commercial software
as compared to customized software;
(2) the emergence of industry-specific vendors who target
their software to the needs of particular types of
businesses;
(3) a growing demand from businesses that are too small
to afford in-house systems development staff; and
(4) the trend toward downsizing of organizational units
and the resulting move toward the distributed data
processing environment, which has made the commercial
software option more appealing to larger organizations

Types of Commercial
Systems
Turnkey systems are completely
finished and tested systems that are
ready for implementation
General accounting systems are
designed to serve a wide variety of
user needs
special-purpose systems that target
selected segments of the economy

Office automation systems are


computer systems that improve the
productivity of office workers
Backbone systems provide a basic
system structure on which to build
Vendor-supported systems are
hybrids of custom systems and
commercial software

Advantages of Commercial Software

Implementation time
Cost
reliability

Disadvantages of Commercial
Software

Independence
The need of customized system
maintenance

THE SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT


LIFE CYCLE
New systems development involves
conceptual steps that can apply to any
problem-solving process:
identify the problem,
understand what needs to be done,
consider alternative solutions,
select the best solution, and, finally,
implement the solution

systems maintenance, constitutes the


organizations program change procedures

Systems Planning
Phase I
The objective of systems planning
is to link individual system
projects or applications to the
strategic objectives of the firm
See fig 5.2
Effective systems planning provides
goal congruence

Who Should Do Systems


Planning?
steering committee may include the
chief executive officer, the chief
financial officer, the chief information
officer, senior management from
user areas, the internal auditor, and
senior management from computer
services

Systems planning occurs at two


levels:
strategic systems planning and
project planning

Strategic Systems Planning


involves the allocation of systems
resources at the macro level.
It usually deals with a time frame of
3 to 5 years

Why Perform Strategic Systems


Planning?
A plan that changes constantly is
better than no plan at all
Strategic planning reduces the crisis
component in systems development
Strategic systems planning provides
authorization control for the SDLC
Cost management

Project Planning
The purpose of project planning is to
allocate resources to individual
applications within the framework of the
strategic plan
identifying areas of user needs,
Preparing proposals,
evaluating each proposals feasibility and
contribution to the business plan,
prioritizing individual projects, and
scheduling the work to be done

The product of this phase consists of


two formal documents:
the project proposal provides
management with a basis for deciding
whether to proceed with the project
the project schedule represents
managements commitment to the
project

The Auditors Role in Systems


Planning
Auditors routinely examine the
systems planning phase of the SDLC

Systems AnalysisPhase
II
Systems analysis is actually a two
step process involving first a survey
of the current system and then an
analysis of the users needs
The deliverable from this phase is a
formal systems analysis report,
which presents the findings of the
analysis and recommendations for
the new system

The Survey Step


The analyst often begins the analysis
by determining what elements, if
any, of the current system should be
preserved as part of the new system

Gathering Facts
Data sources. These include external entities,
such as customers or vendors, as well as
internal sources from other departments.
Users. These include both managers and
operations users.
Data stores. Data stores are the files,
databases, accounts, and source documents
used in the system.
Processes. Processing tasks are manual or
computer operations that represent a decision
or an action triggered by information

Data flows. Data flows are represented by


the movement of documents and reports
between data sources, data stores,
processing tasks, and users.
Controls. These include both accounting
and operational controls and may be
manual procedures or computer controls.
Transaction volumes. The analyst must
obtain a measure of the transaction
volumes for a specified period of time

Error rates. Transaction errors are closely


related to transaction volume
Resource costs. The resources used by the
current system include the costs of labor,
computer time, materials (such as
invoices), and direct overhead
Bottlenecks and redundant operations.
The analyst should note points where data
flows come together to form a bottleneck

Fact-Gathering Techniques

Observation
Task Participation
Personal Interviews
Reviewing Key Documents

The Auditors Role in Systems


Analysis
The accountant/auditor should be
involved in the needs analysis of the
proposed system to determine if it is
a good candidate for advanced audit
features and, if so, which features
are best suited for the system

Conceptual Systems Design


Phase III
The purpose of the conceptual design phase
is to produce several alternative conceptual
systems that satisfy the system requirements
identified during systems analysis
Two approaches to conceptual systems
design:
the structured approach develops each new
system from scratch from the top down
the object-oriented approach from the bottom
up through the assembly of reusable modules
rather than create each system from scratch

System Evaluation and


SelectionPhase IV
an optimization process that seeks to
identify the best system
involves two steps:
1. Perform a detailed feasibility study
technical, economic, legal,
operational, and schedule
2. Perform a cost-benefit analysis

The Auditors Role in Evaluation and


Selection
Only escapable costs are used in
calculations of cost savings benefits.
Reasonable interest rates are used in
measuring present values of cash flows.
One-time and recurring costs are completely
and accurately reported.
Realistic useful lives are used in comparing
competing projects.
Intangible benefits are assigned reasonable
financial values.

Detailed DesignPhase
V
The purpose of the detailed design
phase is to produce a detailed
description of the proposed system
that both satisfies the system
requirements identified during
systems analysis and is in
accordance with the conceptual
design

Perform a System Design


Walkthrough
Review System Documentation

Application Programming and


TestingPhase VI
select a programming language from
among the various languages
available and suitable to the
application

System ImplementationPhase
VII
Database structures are created and
populated with data, equipment is
purchased and installed, employees
are trained, the system is
documented, and the new system is
installed
Testing the Entire System
Documenting the System
Converting the Databases

Converting to the New System


Cold Turkey Cutover
Phased Cutover
Parallel Operation Cutover

Systems Maintenance
Phase VIII
Systems maintenance is a formal
process by which application
programs undergo changes to
accommodate changes in user needs