Website of the Month: AuditNet
By Susan B. Anders, PhD, CPA, St. Bonaventure University
Well-organized and comprehensive, AuditNet (www.auditnet.org) is a networking and resource portal for accounting professionals. This column reviewed the website in June 2001, but revisits it this month because its resources have expanded.
The webmaster and creator of the website is Jim Kaplan, CIA, a practicing internal auditor. Although the website is designed as an information-sharing tool for internal auditors, many other accountants will find a lot of useful information and materials here.
Even with minimal use of graphics, the website is highly user-friendly, with a main index appearing on the left-hand side of major pages. Major features are organized under both subject and alphabetical indexes, and documents are often available in multiple formats. The external links are in good order, except for the AICPA links, which aren’t working on many other websites as well.
Except for submitting questions under “Ask the Auditor” and publishing employer job postings, all features are free. Site maintenance costs are paid by advertisers, whose ads appear on major pages.
Ask the Auditor
This forum for asking a wide variety of audit-related questions can be reached through the main index or a hyperlink in the center of the homepage. Questions are submitted via e-mail and are posted to a forum for the webmaster and other users to respond. In return, questioners are required to contribute audit programs, internal control questionnaires (ICQ), checklists, or workpaper templates to share with other users. Alternatively, a $50 contribution to the website can be made.
Prospective questioners are encouraged to review previously submitted questions and answers first. The Ask the Auditor Forum Index groups prior questions under the headings audit programs, auditing standards, best practices, how do I, and miscellaneous. Responses include links to workpapers, checklists, audit programs, articles, other websites, guidebooks, and books available for purchase. At the bottom of this index, under Audit Guidance, are links to materials on topics such as audit report writing, flowcharting, and statistical sampling.
AuditNet maintains an inventory of downloadable audit programs provided by other website users, available in various formats or through links to other websites.
Programs are categorized as follows: management and financial audit programs, information systems technology audit programs, and mainframe and technical audit programs. A fourth category, clearinghouse for audit programs, provides an alphabetical list of audit programs requested. New programs added this month leads off the four categories. Users needing to “pay” for their Ask the Auditor question should check out the list of requested programs.
AuditNet Resource List
Kaplan’s AuditNet Resource List (KARL) is a comprehensive list of websites of interest to accountants and auditors, including a brief description of each site. Look for the AuditNet Resource List link on the main index of most pages, or the AuditNet Links on the homepage. KARL is available in html format in alphabetical and subject order, and in Word and .pdf format in alphabetical order. The list of Internet resources provides incredible coverage; at the time of this review, the Word file listing was 116 pages long.
In addition to auditing-related resources, KARL also provides a significant number of accounting and finance, tax, and economic Internet sites, with a keyword search of the Internet under the user’s choice of search engines. The AuditNet Web Search Page provides descriptions of and suggestions for using these different search engines.
This section, powered by Jobsinthemoney.com, allows users to post jobs, post resumes, access job search resources, review the list of employers, and perform a keyword search of available positions. In addition to auditing positions, this section includes general accounting, tax, finance, and investment job opportunities.
The job search function is free for job seekers. Candidates can search the list of available companies and positions without registering, although they will have to register to apply for a position. Upon registration, job seekers can upload their resume and decide whether they want it to be public or private. Employers can post a single position for $200 for 60 days. Employers can also post multiple jobs or search the resume database, by separate arrangement.
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