Home > Articles > Software Development & Management

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Understanding Personnel Roles and Responsibilities

Individuals can hold any number of roles or responsibilities within an organization. The responsibilities each employee has and to whom he or she reports should be noted. An auditor's first option for determining this information should be an organizational chart. After obtaining and reviewing the organizational chart, the auditor should spend some time reviewing each employee's area to see how the job description matches actual activities. The areas to focus attention on include these:

  • Help desk
  • End-user support manager
  • Quality assurance manager
  • Data manager
  • Rank and file employees
  • Systems-development manager
  • Software-development manager

Employee Roles and Duties

Most organizations have clearly defined controls that specify what each job role is responsible for. An auditor should be concerned with these common roles within the IS structure:

  • Librarian—Responsible for all types of media, including tapes, cartridges, CDs, DVDs, and so on. Librarians must track, store, and recall media as needed. They also must document when the data was stored and retrieved, and who accessed it. If data moves off-site, librarians track when it was sent and when it arrived. They may also be asked to assist in an audit to verify what type of media is still being held at a vendor's site.
  • Data-entry employee—Although most data-entry activities are now outsourced, in the not-too-distant past, these activities were performed in-house at an information processing facility (IPF). During this time, a full-time data-entry person was assigned the task of entering all data. Bar codes, scanning, and web entry forms have also reduced the demand for these services. If this role is still used, key verification is one of the primary means of control.
  • Systems administrator—This employee is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the LAN and associated components such as mid-range or mainframe systems. Although small organizations might have only one systems administrator, larger organizations have many.
  • Quality-assurance employee—Employees in a quality-assurance role can fill one of two roles: quality assurance or quality control. Quality-assurance employees make sure programs and documentation adhere to standards; quality-control employees perform tests at various stages of product development to make sure they are free of defects.
  • Database administrator—This employee is responsible for the organization's data and maintains the data structure. The database administrator has control over all the data; therefore, detective controls and supervision of duties must be observed closely. This is usually a role filled by a senior information systems employee because these employees have control over the physical data definition, implementing data definition controls and defining and initiating backup and recovery.
  • Systems analyst—These employees are involved in the system development lifecycle (SDLC) process. They are responsible for determining the needs of users and developing requirements and specifications for the design of needed software programs.
  • Network administrators—These employees are responsible for maintenance and configuration of network equipment, such as routers, switches, firewalls, wireless access points, and so on.
  • Security architect—These employees examine the security infrastructure of the organization's network.

Segregation of Duties

Job titles can be confusing because different organizations sometimes use different titles for various positions. It helps when the title matches the actual job duties the employee performs. Some roles and functions are just not compatible. For an auditor, concern over such incompatibility centers on the risks these roles represent when combined. Segregation of duties usually falls into four areas of control:

  • Authorization—Verifying cash, approving purchases, and approving changes
  • Custody—Accessing cash, merchandise, or inventories
  • Record keeping—Preparing receipts, maintaining records, and posting payments.
  • Reconciliation—Comparing dollar amounts, counts, reports, and payroll summaries

Table 2.6 lists some of the duties that should not be combined because they can result in a control weakness.

Table 2.6. Separation of Duties

First Job Role

Combined (Yes/No)

Second Job Role

Systems analyst

No

Security administrator

Application programmer

Yes

Systems analyst

Help desk

No

Network administrator

Data entry

Yes

Quality assurance

Computer operator

No

Systems programmer

Database administrator

Yes

Systems analyst

System administrator

No

Database administrator

Security administrator

No

Application programmer

Systems programmer

No

Security administrator

Compensating Controls

Because of the problems that can occur when certain tasks are combined, separation of duties is required to provide accountability and control. When it cannot be used, compensating controls should be considered. In small organizations, it is usually very difficult to adequately separate job tasks. In these instances, one or more of the following compensating controls should be considered:

  • Job rotation—The concept is to not have one person in one position for too long a period of time. This prevents a single employee from having too much control.
  • Audit trail—Although audit trails are a popular item after a security breach, they should be examined more frequently. Audit trails enable an auditor to determine what actions specific individuals performed; they provide accountability.
  • Reconciliation—This is a specific type of audit in which records are compared to make sure they balance. Although they're primarily used in financial audits, they are also useful for computer batch processing and other areas in which totals should be compared.
  • Exception report—This type of report notes errors or exceptions. Exception reports should be made available to managers and supervisors so that they can track errors and other problems.
  • Transaction log—This type of report tracks transactions and the time of occurrence. Managers should use transaction reports to track specific activities.
  • Supervisor review—Supervisor reviews can be performed through observation or inquiry, or remotely using software tools and applications.
  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020