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Auditing in enterprise system environment: a synthesis

Alexandra Kanellou (Division of Business Administration, Department of Economics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece)
Charalambos Spathis (Division of Business Administration, Department of Economics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece)

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

ISSN: 1741-0398

Article publication date: 18 October 2011




The purpose of this article is to provide a selective and comprehensive literature review based on previous research within auditing and enterprise systems (ES). This is done to identify research gaps, propose directions for future research and guide researchers and practitioners on how to better synthesize these two areas. Interaction between ES and auditing is in need of more academic research and practical investigation, which may lead to the development of better solutions, guidelines and frameworks.


A total of 31 academic studies from 2000 to 2010 were included in this study. After reading these studies, different areas had been selected and were addressed in five categories: the future of audit in ES environment, modern audit tools and techniques, changes of auditors' role, differences in perceptions between financial auditors and IT auditors, ERP and compliance with regulations.


ES implementation results in audit process reengineering and increases the need of continuous monitoring of transactions. The presence of IT auditors becomes critical, while financial auditors are asked to enhance their skills in order to be able to conduct effective audit tests. Modern audit tools and techniques must be used so that internal control processes will be appropriate for an ES.

Research limitations/implications

It is not an exhaustive list and some relevant publications might have been overlooked. Much literature has been scanned by reading the title only. In order to conduct a comprehensive review the topical focus was kept relatively narrow on auditing and ES.

Practical implications

Researchers and practitioners must take into consideration the interaction between ES and auditing in order to advance research in this area. Companies must understand the changes that occur in the audit procedure due to ES implementation, so that they will design efficient audit tests and auditors must enhance their knowledge in order to be able to conduct these tests effectively.


This study uncovers and classifies current research within auditing and ES (focusing mostly on ERP systems).



Kanellou, A. and Spathis, C. (2011), "Auditing in enterprise system environment: a synthesis", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 24 No. 6, pp. 494-519.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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