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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Expert Systems with Applications, Volume 25, Issue 3, October 2003, Pages 449–460
Over the past two decades, several applications have been developed as a training tool in transferring the knowledge of auditors' internal control evaluation to novices. Nevertheless, most of the systems previously developed were abandoned regardless of their positive outcome. The main reason for this disappointed story might lie in the rigid nature of the systems. This study reports the development of such a system integrated with the Internet as an attempt to increase the system's flexibility and ease of use. The development process is described as well as an experiment conducted to examine the value of the system is reported.
Every year, firms spend several thousands of dollars to train novice employees in their respective professions to increase their expertise. At the same time, undergraduate and graduate students invest heavily in higher education classes in order to be trained in a particular field of study. One major concern is what methods can be used to maximize the return of these training investments, i.e. to effectively and efficiently move the novice to the expert level. Technology can be used to give trainees practice and feedback. The role of computers is to increase society's capabilities and efficiency. Computers are rapidly changing the training environment. Internet technology provides new and innovative ways to enhance the learning experience, especially to give the trainees easy access to helpful information that would have been difficult for them to access without the Internet. It is important to investigate if there are further ways to harness the power of information technology to enrich the learning process. Experience with problem-based learning indicates that trainees can significantly improve their problem solving skills if they practice often with problems. Some trainees require more time to carefully analyze the problems and come up with solutions. Typically, the trainees are encouraged to practice more with the problems if they can do it at their convenience—during the workday, at night, or on weekends. This paper discusses the construction of an Internet-based intelligent system to transfer auditors' internal control evaluation knowledge to novices. Unlike other on-line training techniques, this system provides an interactive learning experience. The integrated learning environment is designed to provide an effective process for training novices on how to evaluate internal control systems. Previous studies have shown that users' performances are improved when interactivity is prominent (Changchit, Holsapple, & Viator, 2001b). Therefore, a significant aspect of this system lies in the interactive nature of the system. The system does not only present users with text or other types of multi-media, but users are also required to interact with the system by entering the data into the system. The system leads them step-by-step on how to detect internal control weaknesses. When the weakness is detected, it is reported immediately to the user.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Generalizability of the results in this study may be constrained in several respects. First, this research concentrates only on the evaluation of controls commonly found in the sales and collection cycle. Second, it investigates internal control systems commonly found in the merchandising industry. It is not expected to handle novel (uncommonly different) accounting systems. Third, the knowledge of the system developed for this study is based primarily on one auditor who is a partner of an international accounting firm. The resulting system closely represents his reasoning about internal control evaluation. Thus, the system's knowledge may be firm-specific or expert-specific. These limitations point to directions in which the research presented here can be extended by future investigations. The future development of this system might investigate, in more detail, what the useful functions incorporated into the system are. For instance, it is interesting to examine any differences in users' performance if one group is allowed to see the explanation capability of the intelligent system, while another group is not. Another study may examine if the layout of the contents (i.e. grouping internal control weaknesses according to the nature of transactions versus grouping them according to the basic internal control concept) can lead to the differences in users' performances. It is also interesting to study if it is feasible to integrate such a system with the firm's databases so that the data can be retrieved directly from the sources instead of having the users input such data. In addition, future research might investigate if it is feasible to increase the usefulness of the system by developing it as a template for any types of knowledge. Then, another research study can be conducted to examine the value of the system for other courses requiring interactive learning. This research is an initial investigation of the use of an intelligent system to train novices on making internal control evaluations. The major finding of this research is that it is feasible to develop such a system to transfer an auditor's internal control evaluation knowledge to novices. However, as with any computerized system, the system must be used with caution. It is important to note that it might be useful to use the system as a supplement to traditional training rather than as a replacement.