Posted: May 25th, 2022

Continuous Auditing in ERP System Environments

Auditing in ERP System Environments

Continuous auditing is viewed as providing vital benefits to organizations. They include minimizing errors in accounting, timely organizational communication and analysis, as well as increased audit effectiveness and efficiency. The article Continuous Auditing in ERP System Environments: The Current State and Future Directions by John R. Kuhn explain the benefits of continuous auditing. It has further offered a discussion about the technical elements of implementing continuous auditing technology and examined the psychological effects of continuous auditing on managers. The article introduces the concept of continuous auditing by focusing on past, present, and future trends of the actual practice of continuous auditing.

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The puzzling journal has been motivated by the adoption of continuous auditing. Based on empirical studies, the article has surveyed results of previous studies conducted by characterized by the implementation of continuous auditing standards as pilot tests and experimental than full-blown adoption. Given the possible benefits associated with continuous auditing, the article has mentioned some of them. It has gained insight into the current state of affairs. It analyzes the existing surveys of industry practitioners’ responses and their internal audit practices from the information systems perspective. It provides a theoretical framework for assessing the usage of technologies (Kuhn, 2010). In the article, I find that the UTAUT modality describes a significant amount of differences in the intent to adopt continuous auditing. Notably, I find that the perceptions of social influence and effort expectancy are remarkable predictors of the intentions of an internal auditor to adopt while facilitating conditions and performance expectancy are not.

The Traditional Audit

The article establishes a contractual agreement between the auditee and auditor. This enables the audit agreement to proceed with a formulation and risk assessment of the audit plan delineating the objectives and scope of the audit. Therefore, the auditors are allowed to gather and analyze evidence to form opinions regarding the internal controls and reliability of data given by the management. During engagement, auditors furnish formal reports expressing their opinions.

This approach is a reflection of the 20th century modality whereby there were significant time’s delays and high costs associated with information processing, collection and reporting (Kuhn, 2010). These historical delays and costs are not the norm today. In today’s modern business realm, often, transactions are entered and grouped in a way that provides almost immediate feedback to relevant stakeholders. In addition, practitioners and academicians alike acknowledge this shift in information and developed various solutions that appropriately reflects today’s business environment.

Automating the Audit

Historically, organizations accustomed to manual procedures of auditing benefited from pursuing the future audits in an incremental way. This approach would result in conducting pilot studies to validate the possible benefits of audit automation. Change resistance is a universal phenomenon hence a careful and gradual advancement requires a more tractable approach. Advancing forward might ultimately lead to subsequent support to expand automated audit programs and practices. This can significantly enhance the possibilities of success in attaining the future audits (Kuhn, 2010). The article supports the use of low-cost resolutions to achieve an initial automated audit experience like introductory CAATS facilitating data sorting, extraction and analysis procedures. Such programs demand minimal training, provide detailed logs for auditing as paperwork documentation and enables the creation of specified-auditor reports that could be applied to the future and current data sets. Initially, these tools must be utilized to replace manual auditing practices as these areas generate substantial benefits.

In this context, the article illustrates that the programs can be configured to tackle tasks like choosing statistical samples, footing ledgers, generating suspicious transactions, and generating confirmations. Such tools can test the record included in files, which is a marked enhancement over the historical stamping technique found in traditional manual audit.

The Future Audit

As mentioned earlier, basic CAATS have the capability to improve audit efficacy and effectiveness. However, the article shows that they do not function all the time. It fails to construct a continuous auditing realm whereby exceptions might be identified as they occur. Alternatively, the article argues that CAATS do not operate in real time data streams and hence unable to address suspicious events like potential irregularities or fraud in an optimized trend. It demonstrates that based on today’s business technology advances, the progressive emphasis on the backward auditing is an outdated philosophy. Therefore, businesses that successfully experiment with CAATS must be given utmost consideration to advanced programs containing functionalities that resemble future audits. As such, they must be provided with high assurance levels. Recently emerging resolutions better satisfies this version (Kuhn, 2010).

The programs in the article are capable of continuously capturing outliers and exceptions in data sets in disparate frameworks, alert mechanisms to appropriate personnel, provide information and confront problems like errors, misuse of resources and fraud in real-time. Such programs could help in optimizing the function of auditing by analyzing all financial transactions taking place. Therefore, such a proactive approach will increase effectiveness and efficiency in discovering opportunities and problems for business improvement. However, before advancing into this elaborative realm, additional considerations pertaining to business operations will be warranted (Kuhn, 2010).

Auditing field has overseen enormous strides in the past years but it has failed to keep pace with the actual time economy. Some auditing techniques and approaches, which were valuable preciously are now outdated. Moreover, the evolution in auditing has arrived at a crucial juncture whereby auditors either lead in adopting or promoting the future audit or proceed to conform to the traditional paradigm. In future, auditing approaches will demand standard setters, regulators, and auditors to make significant adjustments.

References

Kuhn, J. (2010). Continuous Auditing in ERP System Environments: The Current State and Future Directions. Journal Of Information Systems American Accounting Association Vol. 24, No. 1 DOI: 10.2308/jis.2010.24.1.91 Spring 2010 pp. 91 — 112.


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