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This article outlined a system for collecting data during a review which involves computerization of a new style of pro forma workpaper. A growing number of GAO assignments are using a combination of surveys, data collection instruments, and computers to reduce job costs, reduce job time, provide for better use of data, and increase a manager's ability to control an assignment.
The purpose of the survey is to identify the objectives to be reported on during the review. The development and use of a questionnaire-like schedule, called a data collection instrument, pinpoints the information required, standardizes the collection of data, and facilitates data entry. After the data are fed into the computer, data processing is greatly simplified. The computer can be used to do mathematical operations and to create new information from data in the file. In addition, the computer can be used to provide descriptive statistics relative to the data.