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Impact of external auditor–cloud specialist engagement on cloud auditing challenges

Alaa A.D. Taha (Department of Accounting, College of Administration and Economics, University of Mosul, Mosul, Iraq)
Waheed Ramo (Department of Accounting, College of Administration and Economics, University of Mosul, Mosul, Iraq)
Haetham H. Kasem Alkhaffaf (Department of Accounting, College of Administration and Economics, University of Mosul, Mosul, Iraq)

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change

ISSN: 1832-5912

Article publication date: 8 February 2021

Issue publication date: 1 June 2021

1035

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the impact of external auditor–cloud specialist engagement on cloud auditing challenges from the perspective of auditors from the Association of Certified Public Accountants in a developing country as an example of Middle East emerging economies.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative research design was used to assess the influence of external auditor–cloud specialist engagement on three main cloud auditing challenges (i.e. technology security, regulatory standards and strategy). Data collection was conducted through field and online surveys. A total of 201 (181 male and 20 female) auditors made up a sample of a developing country’s economy. In addition, structural equation modelling was performed to test the proposed hypotheses of the study’s conceptual model.

Findings

The study found a significant effect of external auditor–cloud specialist engagement on overcoming the challenges of cloud auditing. Results showed that using IT specialists helps overcome strategic challenges more than other kinds of challenges, such as technology security and organisational standards.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that efforts to promote cloud auditing in organisations may succeed if the focus is on overcoming cloud auditing challenges and highlighting the external auditor–cloud specialist engagement to enhance job performance.

Originality/value

This study is one of the few studies that analyse the impact of external auditor–cloud specialist engagement on cloud auditing challenges by adopting a quantitative approach from the perspective of auditors from the Iraqi Association of Certified Public Accountants.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Many thanks are due to the University of Mosul (UoM) for encouraging to complete this study. Also, authors thank the Iraqi Association of Certified Accountants for facilitating the task of collecting data from Auditors. In addition, authors thank our colleagues from the Department of Accounting/University of Mosul who provided insight and expertise that greatly assisted the research.

Citation

Taha, A.A.D., Ramo, W. and Alkhaffaf, H.H.K. (2021), "Impact of external auditor–cloud specialist engagement on cloud auditing challenges", Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 309-331. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAOC-08-2020-0111

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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