Flow Charting—A Systems and Control Technique
by HARLEY H. RUDOLPH, JR. Consultant, Management Advisory Services, Miami Office
Presented before the Fourth Annual Conference on Management Advisory Services,
Florida State University School of Business, Tallahassee—October 1965
FLOW CHARTING is a term we hear often these days. It is part of the jargon of the electronic data processing—EDP—field. Before the term EDP was originated it was specialized language used to describe process analysis in the field of industrial engineering. It has widespread application in all types of systems work and is a useful tool for documenting
the evaluation of internal control in the field of auditing.
In systems analysis and in specialized areas such as EDP the term flow charting is used to describe a variety of distinct techniques and charting methods. In fact, within the EDP field there is a lack of uniformity
even in construing the concept implied by the term. You may, for example, hear the terms block diagram or systems chart used to denote to some groups the same concept as the term flow chart may denote
to others. All would agree, however, that a flow chart is a graphical
representation of a procedure.
Some of the concepts covered by the generic term flow charting are examined in this article. Certain distinctions between two basic types of flow charts—technique flow charts and structural flow charts— are also drawn.
Technique Flow Charts
Technique flow charts illustrate the information requirements in a system and how they are to be met—that is, they show the method used in manipulating the data.
A typical portion of such a flow chart for a computer payroll program
may appear as follows:
Date Gross \ No
Tax to Year-
This portion of the system illustrates the method used to deduct Social