Auditing is an integral part of any payroll system and rightly so. When I talk about auditing in Chris21 I am referring to the audit file that is produced whenever a user makes a change in the system. The audit file reports when a change was made, what the change was and who made the change.

An insufficient audit configuration will result in gaps in audit report output. If you find that audit reports are not showing the desired information you need you may need to review your setup.

Configuring Chris21 to track audit changes is a manual process. You must flag the files and individual fields that are required in your audit file. While this process may sound time consuming, remember that you can automate this by using GTR, see my blog Increase Your Productivity Using GTR Processing.

Notwithstanding that you can automate the actual setting of flags in the system, you will still need to do a review of your current setup and decide what needs to change. This is the part that can be challenging because there are so many individual fields that make up the Chris21 system. The answer is to run a report over your data dictionary to identify the audit flags. The data dictionary is where all the fields are defined in Chris21. Read this article for some background information about the data dictionary – Customising Chris21 the Right Way.

Why it is necessary to review the way you are auditing in Chris21

Chris21 is delivered with a default configuration. When Chris21 is implemented the auditing setup is predefined by the vendor. It’s likely that this default setup has never been reviewed in your organisation, meaning that you are relying on the default setup to be the best one.

Usually the default setup won’t completely suit your needs. This will only become obvious when you are looking for information in your audit file and it’s not there. Keep in mind that there is no way to track a system change to a field if that field is not included in your audit setup.

How to review the way you are auditing in Chris21

Firstly, you will need to run a report over the data dictionary. You only want the report to include the Field Code, Label and Show on Audit? fields. Considering the sheer number of fields that make up the system, this will be a large report. Publish the report as a spreadsheet.

It is then a matter of working through the spreadsheet and changing the Show on Audit? flag as appropriate. It’s a good idea to clear the flag for any fields that you do not need to audit. This will help to reduce the size of the audit file as these fields will no longer be included.

You should consider all business groups who may have a vested interest in the audit file, such as Payroll, HR, Training and Development and Administrators. These groups may want to review the spreadsheet to ensure the audit setup meets their requirements.

How to control Chris21 auditing at the file level

So far I have talked about reviewing your Chris21 auditing setup at the field level. It is also possible to switch auditing on and off at the file level. This is done on the File Tables (FIL) form in Chris21. Go to FIL and open the file you want to change. Then check or uncheck the Audit Enabled? checkbox.

Auditing in Chris21

Note that this method overrides field auditing. If you switch off auditing on a file, no auditing will be maintained on any fields in that file, even though the individual fields may be flagged for audit. For this reason it is important that you also run a report over all files in Chris21 to ensure they have been correctly flagged for auditing.

Taking the time to review your Chris21 auditing setup and updating it appropriately will help greatly when it comes to meeting your auditing requirements and to maintain the integrity of your database.