ACC430 Unit 8 Discussion
Unit 8 DB: Systems Development and Program Changes (ACC430 Accounting Information Systems)
Per Chapter 16 Problem 6 Systems Development and Program Changes discuss the internal control weaknesses in the system development and program change procedures. Comments should relate to (but not be limited to) the organization structure, systems development, systems maintenance, internal audit participation, testing procedures, access controls, segregation of duties, program fraud and documentation inadequacies.
6. SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT AND PROGRAM CHANGES
Winston Financial Services (WFS), located in Parsippany, New Jersey, provides financial advice to small and mid-sized businesses. Its primary opera tions are in portfolio management and financial services for clients in the health care industry. Each client has general business and financial information stored on servers in the main office in Parsippany. Client investment information is stored on a separate server in their Tulsa, Oklahoma, data center. This includes the total value of the portfolio, type of investments made, the income structure of each client, and associated tax liabilities.
WFS had purchase specialized asset management software called VIEW, which allows the company to run analytics on client portfolios and to run simulations of market trends. The customization and implementation of VIEW was performed by a team of IT professionals from the consulting firm of Cutting Edge Solutions (CES).
The contract with CES required them to train a WFS employee to maintain VIEW after the implementation. For this purpose, WFS selected a programmer from their systems maintenance group who was subsequently trained in VIEW’s proprietary language and all of its functionality and controls.
Two years after the implementation of VIEW, WFS management is now considering investing in a significant custom upgrade to the system. Furthermore, since their contract with CES has expired, they have decided to assign the upgrade task to their in-house maintenance programmer who had been trained in VIEW by CES. Once the project is completed, the programmer will be redeployed to the maintenance group. This is viewed by the WFS management team to be the most feasible and economic approach.
a. Discuss the risks associated with systems development approach.
b. What controls weaknesses are apparent in this approach?