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The Basics of an IT Audit and an IT Audit Checklist

October 30, 2015

IT AuditWhat exactly is an IT audit and why is it important for a company to have this in place? How can a company perform an effective IT audit, and what is an audit checklist? In a nutshell, an IT audit is an assessment of a company’s information technology operations, policies, and infrastructure. This helps a company find out whether or not data is protected, if the company’s hardware is effective enough for what it needs, and if the personnel that handle that department are capable enough to handle the tasks they have on hand.

When should your company do such an audit? One of the primary reasons why this happens is when the company’s IT projects go beyond their budgets. Another is when these same projects do not meet the expectations that have been set for these. It has also been common practice to do an audit when the budgets that are laid out for IT is not in line with present day economic conditions.

In order for a company to determine whether or not it is indeed time to do an IT audit, a checklist has to be used. For a business to evaluate whether or not this move is needed, and how you should go about doing this, this checklist needs to include the following points:

Projects that are currently being worked on or are in the hopper for execution should be checked and the scope identified. Who will be working on these? When are these projects expected to be done and what is the budget for each? What does the company expect from these projects? Knowing key details for these projects, the budget, and what the expectations are will help your company find out what needs to be changed, if any, and whether or not an audit should be started.

Check your processes for possible problems. You also need to determine beforehand what processes you will want to use with these IT projects. Once you figure these out, you can then determine how your IT audit should be done, if it is indeed decided that one is needed.

Keep track of the people connected with these projects. Know who is working on what, what one person’s involvement is, how many departments are handling specific tasks in these projects and so on. Knowing what contributions people make to your projects and who has access to specific items will help you narrow down the source of errors, if there are any, as well as where possible cash drains are located.

Why is it important to do an IT audit and how does it help a company? This can help a company streamline expenses and to pour funds into the areas that require such an influx to help the business prosper or even survive. Not being able to know these things, particularly if you are a small business that cannot afford budget overruns and costly errors, will only create bigger issues that may snowball out of control if not handled the right way and as soon as possible.

“Axiom does a phenomenal job making sure we are up to date with technology, keeping us secure, up to date, and my staff happy. We’re both on the same side of the table.”
– Ray Kubick, Northwestern Mutual

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