Wednesday, August 13

Amendments in syllabus of Paper 6: ISCA (CA Final) from November 2014 onward

As all of us are aware, the syllabus of Paper 6 : Information System Control and Audit (ISCA) has been revised, so as to make it in-line with the current requirement of the environment. The Study Material of this paper covering the theoretical framework in detail has also been revised, accordingly. Students are also advised officially by BoS to update themselves with the latest changes in the IT sector. For this, they may refer the monthly journal ‘The Chartered Accountant’ and the Students’ Journal published by the Institute and also other IT Journals/Magazines.

The syllabus have been changed almost 35%-40%, but students need not to worry, only irrelevant parts of the syllabus were removed, and the topics which are added newly are the one which are easy as well as practical concepts. There should not be much problem in learning new topics.a

Chapter-wise coverage of this Study material is given as follows:

Content: This Chapter of the study material is devoted to the discussion on concept of Governance and management of Information Systems. In addition, the role of IT in businesses, operations and controls, business impact of IS risks, role and responsibilities of top management as regards IT-GRC etc. have also been covered.
Notes to Students: This chapter is 85% new in terms of content in comparison with Old Syllabus. Some concepts, like COBIT framework and Risk Management which were there in Old Syllabus in some other chapters have been reshuffled to this chapter. Students are advised to study this chapter thoroughly from the new syllabus only.

Content: This Chapter deals with the basic concepts of Information System and its various types like MIS, DSS, TPS, EIS etc.
Notes to Students: This chapter is almost 95% similar to Chapter 1 of Old ISCA syllabus.

Content: This Chapter discusses the protection of Information Systems. It highlights the importance of Information Security in today’s vulnerable IT world, its policies, related standards/guidelines and also provides a detailed discussion on IS Controls, their objectives and functions with reference to Information Systems. Understanding of these controls is essential to the Chartered Accountants to strengthen their ability for conducting IS Audit in any organization.
Notes to Students: This chapter is a modified version of Chapter 3 of old ISCA syllabus. Many of unwanted portions of the old chapter have been removed. Some of new concepts are introduced. Also some of the topics of old syllabus have been reshuffled into this chapter, like IS Policy, etc.

Content: This Chapter outlines Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP) along with its related concepts.
Notes to Students: This chapter is almost similar to BCP/DRP chapter of Old ISCA syllabus, but a new concept of Business Continuity Management (BCM) has been introduced. This chapter has been modified, so as to get it accommodate environmental and industrial changes. Students are advised to thoroughly study this chapter from new syllabus only.

Content: This Chapter deals with systems development process for an information system. Various stages of systems development life cycle are also discussed. In this chapter, students will also get an idea ‘how computerized business applications are conceived and designed’. Various tools and techniques of systems analysis and design and programming are also briefly covered in this Chapter.
Notes to Students: This chapter is almost 95% similar to Chapter 2 of Old ISCA syllabus. Students are advised not to worry in this chapter, it is almost similar to old syllabus SDLC.

Content: This Chapter is devoted to the auditing of Information Systems. It highlights the IS Audit planning, performing an IS audit, rules of digital evidence, best practices and standards for IS audit etc. In addition, the chapter also emphasizes on the reviewing of General and Application Controls.
Notes to Students: This chapter is a combination of reshuffling of controls chapter topics and IS audit chapter of old ISCA syllabus. The students need not to worry much, and are advised to check the contents and devise a strategy to learn this chapter.

Content: This Chapter extensively deals with IT Regulatory issues. Along with a wide coverage of the relevant sections of IT Act 2000, other related regulatory issues e.g. need for system audit as per Clause 49 of SEBI listing requirements and audit requirements as per RBI, IRDA have also been discussed in the chapter.
Notes to Students: This chapter is 60% similar to IT Act of old ISCA syllabus, still students are advised to see the contents because, all Sections have been regrouped and rearranged in the new syllabus. In addition to it, Auditing and System Control procedure for regulation setup by (i) IRDA (Insurance Companies), (ii) RBI (Banks and NBFCs) and (iii) SEBI (Stock Exchanges and Stock Broking firms) have been introduced, which is altogether new concept for students. Students  are advised to learn these concepts thoroughly. Some of the concepts of IS Standards of Old syllabus have been reshuffled into this chapter.

Content: This Chapter is devoted to the emerging technologies. Major evolving technologies/concepts like Cloud Computing, Mobile Computing, BYOD, Web 2.0 & Social Media and Green IT etc. have been covered in this chapter to make the students familiar with such technological developments.
Notes to Students: This chapter is a WHOLE NEW learning dimension for students. Concepts like cloud computing, Mobile Computing, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Social Media, etc. have been introduced. Students are advised to thoroughly learn this chapter. It is very easy to understand and learn, the concepts are very practical, but the concepts are new to syllabus.

The above was summary analysis done by our team. Students are advised to study from UPDATED MODULES and PRACTICE MANUALS only. Students need not to panic and take the changes in positive way. These are not much tough to understand.

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