This study aims to examine the International Standards on Auditing (ISA) number 520 relating to analytical procedures (APs) and adapt relevant aspects of prior studies on APs to the Egyptian audit context. The study investigates the extent of use of APs in Egypt during the three main stages of an audit by size of firms and level of staff. It examines auditors' perceptions of the frequency and effectiveness of different types of APs in achieving a selected set of audit objectives. The study also identifies the types of assurance provided by APs and their influence on detailed testing as well as analyzing the role of auditing standards in the context of the use of APs.
The design and research method are empirical using a questionnaire survey to collect information on actual uses of APs from 14 audit firms in Egypt which audit the 100 actively traded companies on the Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX) as measured by the EGX 100 index. The survey was carried out between 2008 and 2009.
The results of the study showed relatively low use of APs by Egyptian auditors with wide variations in its use by Big 4 and other auditing firms. Auditors from Big 4 firms are found to use APs to a greater extent than auditors from non‐Big 4 firms. Also, the reliance on APs tends to differ by auditors rank and position. The majority of auditors consider APs useful in achieving audit objectives. Audit firms of all size continue to emphasize judgment‐based compared to quantitatively based procedures. The results also indicated a lack of confidence in the use of APs as substantive procedures. Finally, the study confirmed prior research findings in that auditing standards are regarded as most effective in codifying existing large firms practice. It was found that ISA 520 has been least effective in stimulating change in the Egyptian audit practice.
The different economic, political, educational, and culture environment in Egypt may restrict the generalisability of this study results.
In order to increase the use of APs by Egyptian auditors in the various stages of the audit engagement, auditors need to understand the requirements of the Egyptian Auditing Standards regarding their use. Auditors also need to be aware of the application of various APs techniques, especially those associated with statistics and mathematical models. Educational institutions and the Egyptian Association of Accountants and Auditors must play significant role in educating auditors about APs techniques and their use in planning, testing and final review of the financial statements.
This paper contributes to an understanding of the nature and uses of APs within the Egyptian culture and economic context. The study will stimulate further research in understanding the importance of the use of APs in audit engagements in different perspectives.
Samaha, K. and Hegazy, M. (2010), "An empirical investigation of the use of ISA 520 “analytical procedures” among Big 4 versus non‐Big 4 audit firms in Egypt", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 25 No. 9, pp. 882-911. https://doi.org/10.1108/02686901011080053Download as .RIS
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