Small Things Can Make A Difference: A Good Transaction Audit Trail

Internal Controls have been a big buzz phrase in the accounting industry for the last several years. Part of having good internal software controls is to have a good audit trail. Without an audit trail, it is difficult to hold your employees accountable when they make errors, or worse, when fraudulent transactions have been entered.

For companies that have multiple employees entering and editing transactions in accounting and business software, it is important to know who added a transaction and when it was posted. If you don’t have that information, how can you hold employees accountable?

A good audit trail system should include the following features:

  • Keeps a user record for each transaction entered into the system.
  • Keeps the date and time of each transaction entry.
  • When a transaction is edited the system maintains a record of the original transaction.
  • The new edited transaction record must contain the user that edited it along with the date and time it was edited.
  • Ability to track the history of edited records, when multiple edits have been processed.
  • If the system allows checks and invoices to be reprinted the system must keep a record of who reprinted the documents, the date, time and the number of times the documents have been reprinted and any original information that was changed.
  • The ability to prevent duplicate numbers for checks and customer invoices.
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