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Examining the adoption of computer-assisted audit tools and techniques: Cases of generalized audit software use by internal auditors

Nurmazilah Mahzan (Department of Accounting, Faculty of Business and Accountancy, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Andy Lymer (Department of Accounting and Finance, Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Article publication date: 29 April 2014




The use of computer-assisted audit techniques and tools (CAATTs) is a part of many professionally recommended audit procedures. This paper aims to argue that obtaining a better understanding of the factors underlying successful CAATTs adoptions would be helpful to aid wider development of these technologies in internal audit functions.


To help develop the understanding of the factors that lead to successful adoption of GAS, this paper uses current theories that are seeking to better explain the various elements that constitute IT adoption processes. In particular, it makes use the “Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology” (UTAUT). UTAUT is used to structure the analysis of ten semi-structured, qualitative, interviews of key decision-makers in adoptions of CAATTS in internal audit functions in exploring the key factors that drove the successful adoption of these IT technologies. The most widely used CAATTs tools available to internal auditors is currently GAS. This study specifically focuses on GAS tools.


This paper explores the successful adoption of GAS in ten cases to draw out the general factors that appear to be essential elements that lead to successful adoptions. From this basis, the paper proposes an initial model, built on existing theories of IT adoption more generally, as a theoretical basis for GAS adoption by decision-makers in an internal audit setting to better understand what may be essential factors to their adoption decisions to be likewise successful. Results suggest that two constructs from UTAUT (performance expectancy and facilitating conditions) appear to be particularly important factors influencing successful adoptions of GAS in this domain. However, the UTAUT constructs of social influence and effort expectancy are not found by this study to be as important in this specific IT adoption domain. UTAUT also proposes four moderating factors that influence the constructs. This paper explores two of these moderators – experience and voluntariness – and shows that both are keys to the constructs application to this domain.


The paper examines the motivation for CAATTs adoption by internal auditors using the UTAUT framework commonly used in information system research but not so to date in this domain where there is professional guidance suggesting wider use of technology should be made compared to actual usage.



JEL classification – M42


Mahzan, N. and Lymer, A. (2014), "Examining the adoption of computer-assisted audit tools and techniques: Cases of generalized audit software use by internal auditors", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 327-349.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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