Information systems audit and control, a new interdisciplinary minor offered through the UW-Eau Claire Departments of Accounting & Finance and Information Systems, combines knowledge of accounting and auditing with an in-depth understanding of information systems applications, networks, database designs, and security. The 24-credit minor will be available to UW-Eau Claire students starting fall 2009.
As computer technology has expanded, the need for increased controls in information systems has become a high priority to protect the integrity and security of accounting information systems. Professionals working in the field of audit and control must be able to dissect, monitor, and correct information systems to ensure that electronic accounting systems are free of security breaches and errors. These systems must produce accurate, timely, relevant, and verifiable information to meet internal and external reporting needs, and to comply with laws such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
The curriculum for this new minor complies with the requirements set forth by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), a leading professional society that advocates for educational programs in this growing field. ISACA also sponsors a number of certifications such as the Certified Information Systems Auditor, which enhances career opportunities for individuals working in the field.
Students who pursue this minor will be extremely marketable.
“Accounting firms are looking for more students who have a strong knowledge base in technology,” said Ben Johnson, a senior majoring in both accounting and information systems. “Recruiters for IT jobs are also looking for people who have business-related skills. When it comes to audit and control specifically, this new minor could give students an edge over other candidates, and give them good experience to draw from when they start working.”
Dr. D’Arcy Becker, chair of the accounting and finance department, agrees.
“In times like this, students are looking for things that will lead to specific career opportunities,” said Becker. “This program will have a direct affect on the employability of students.”
Nationwide, only six other universities offer similar programs, and this is the only one of its kind in the Upper Midwest.
“We have had a long-standing demand from employers for dual majors in the fields of information systems and accounting,” said Dr. Tom Hilton, chair of the department of information systems. “This is the only minor in the Upper Midwest that responds to that need.”