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Book part
Publication date: 8 March 2018

Alexander Kogan, Ephraim F. Sudit and Miklos A. Vasarhelyi

The progressive computerization of business processes and widespread availability of computer networking make it possible to dramatically increase the frequency of…

Abstract

The progressive computerization of business processes and widespread availability of computer networking make it possible to dramatically increase the frequency of periodic audits by redesigning the auditing architecture around Continuous Online Auditing (COA). Continuous auditing is viewed here as a type of auditing that produces audit results simultaneously with, or a short period of time after, the occurrence of relevant events. It is arguable that continuous auditing can be implemented only as an online system, i.e., a system that is permanently connected through computer networking to both auditees and auditors. This article proposes a research agenda for the emerging field of COA. First, the history, institutional background, feasibility of and some experiences in COA are briefly reviewed. Thereafter, a number of research issues relating to the architecture of COA, factors affecting the use of COA, and the major consequences of COA are presented. Finally, a selected number of research issues are highlighted as priorities for future research in COA.

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Book part
Publication date: 8 March 2018

Zabihollah Rezaee, Ahmad Sharbatoghlie, Rick Elam and Peter L. McMickle

The digital economy has significantly altered the way business is conducted and financial information is communicated. A rapidly growing number of organizations are…

Abstract

Summary

The digital economy has significantly altered the way business is conducted and financial information is communicated. A rapidly growing number of organizations are conducting business and publishing business and financial reports online and in real-time. Real-time financial reporting is likely to necessitate continuous auditing to provide continuous assurance about the quality and credibility of the information presented. The audit process has, by necessity, evolved from a conventional manual audit to computer-based auditing and is now confronted with creating continuous electronic audits. Rapidly emerging information technology and demands for more timely communication of information to business stakeholders requires auditors to invent new ways to continuously monitor, gather, and analyze audit evidence. Continuous auditing is defined here as “a comprehensive electronic audit process that enables auditors to provide some degree of assurance on continuous information simultaneously with, or shortly after, the disclosure of the information.” This paper is based on a review of related literature, innovative continuous auditing applications, and the experiences of the authors. An approach for building continuous audit capacity is presented and audit data warehouses and data marts are described. Ever improving technology suggests that the real-time exchange of sensitive financial data will place constant pressure on auditors to update audit techniques. Most of the new techniques that will be required will involve creation of new software and audit models. Future research should focus on how continuous auditing could be constantly improved in various auditing domains including assurance, attestation, and audit services.

Details

Continuous Auditing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-413-4

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Book part
Publication date: 8 March 2018

Victoria Chiu, Qi Liu and Miklos A. Vasarhelyi

The advances and continuous development of technology have been identified as significant influences on the accounting profession (AICPA, 1998). In the last twenty years…

Abstract

The advances and continuous development of technology have been identified as significant influences on the accounting profession (AICPA, 1998). In the last twenty years, both academia and the accounting profession have been giving much attention to the demand and opportunity for audits to be performed automatically, continuously and in nearly real time. This paper presents a comprehensive review of continuous auditing research by providing an overview of the emergence and growth of the continuous auditing literature and classifying the extant continuous auditing research on the basis of four research characteristics indicated by a newly developed research taxonomy.

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Book part
Publication date: 8 March 2018

Michael G. Alles, Alexander Kogan and Miklos A. Vasarhelyi

Given the growing interest in the topic, both in practice and academia, it is timely and important to examine the concept of continuous assurance (CA) and the possible…

Abstract

Summary

Given the growing interest in the topic, both in practice and academia, it is timely and important to examine the concept of continuous assurance (CA) and the possible paths along which such services will evolve. There has been a tendency to see CA purely from the point of view of its technological enablers. As such, it has virtually been taken for granted that CA will follow as a matter of course. What has been less thought through is the business architecture that must underlie CA. In particular, we show that the key driver of CA is the demand for it. While there may be many economic transactions between the company and its stakeholders that could benefit from the provision of CA, there is no guarantee that CA is either cost effective—the only way of enhancing efficiency—or actually has to be continuous. Other factors that will affect the development of CA are the need for a new infrastructure to pay for it, as well as concerns about the independence of the assurors. We also identify some important research issues.

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Book part
Publication date: 8 March 2018

Michael G. Alles, Alexander Kogan and Miklos A. Vasarhelyi

In the almost twenty years since Vasarhelyi and Halper (1991) reported on their pioneering implementation of what has come to be known as Continuous Auditing (CA), the…

Abstract

In the almost twenty years since Vasarhelyi and Halper (1991) reported on their pioneering implementation of what has come to be known as Continuous Auditing (CA), the concept has increasingly moved from theory into practice. A 2006 survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that half of all responding firms use some sort of CA techniques, and the majority of the rest plan to do so in the near future. CA not only has an increasing impact on auditing practice, but is also one of the rare instances in which such a significant change was led by the researchers. In this paper we survey the state of CA after two decades of research into continuous auditing theory and practice, and draw out the lessons learned by us in recent pilot CA projects at two major firms, to examine where this unique partnership between academics and auditors will take CA in the future.

Details

Continuous Auditing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-413-4

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Abstract

Details

Continuous Auditing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-413-4

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2013

Il‐hang Shin, Myung‐gun Lee and Woojin Park

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the continuous auditing system based on continuous monitoring and its implementation methodology; also to present a systematic…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the continuous auditing system based on continuous monitoring and its implementation methodology; also to present a systematic case study of actual continuous auditing systems implemented in the financial industry and the manufacturing industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the method of implementing the continuous auditing system in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) environment, and suggests how the continuous auditing system can take firm root by looking at the successful introduction of the continuous auditing system in the financial industry and the manufacturing industry.

Findings

The proposed method of implementing the continuous auditing system has the 2stage approaches which can be applied to various kinds of companies in the ERP‐based environment. In addition, the proposed cases have the important practical implications acquired in the process of implementing the continuous auditing system in the financial industry and the manufacturing industry.

Practical implications

This study will help many corporations facing various types of corruption or circumvention of internal control, with their internal auditing, by showing them how to use the continuous auditing system to reinforce internal control. Also, it will make the independent auditor understand audited company's continuous monitoring system and lead to use the infrastructure for efficient and effective external auditing.

Originality/value

The proposed method and cases of implementing the continuous auditing system offer an innovative approach to auditing in the ERP‐based environment because it facilitates both internal auditor and external auditor to achieve the audit objectives efficiently and effectively.

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Ning Zhao, David C. Yen and I‐Chiu Chang

Financial statements are not as important to investors as they once were, as technology has changed the way companies create value today. While these changes pose serious…

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6494

Abstract

Financial statements are not as important to investors as they once were, as technology has changed the way companies create value today. While these changes pose serious threats to the economic viability of auditing, they also create new opportunities for auditors to pursue. Both the American Institute of Certified of Public Accountants and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) Task Force on Assurance Services have identified continuous auditing as a service that should be offered. Continuous auditing is significantly different from an annual financial statement audit. A latest research report produced by the CICA defines a continuous audit as: “a methodology that enables independent auditors to provide written assurance on a subject matter using a series of auditors’ reports issued simultaneously with, or a short period of time after, the occurrence of events underlying the subject matter.” However, continuous auditing would present significant technical hurdles. These technical hurdles could be overcome if certain conditions exist. Computer‐assisted audit tools (CAATs) are one of the conditions that must exist in order to conduct the continuous auditing. CAATs are defined as computer‐assisted tools that permit auditors to increase their productivity, as well as that of the audit function. Therefore, with the real‐time accounting and electronic data interchange popularizing, CAATs are becoming even more necessary. The demand for timely and forward‐looking information hints that the continuous audit will eventually replace the traditional audit report on year‐end results.

Details

Information Management & Computer Security, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-5227

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Book part
Publication date: 8 March 2018

Miklos A. Vasarhelyi, Michael G. Alles and Alexander Kogan

The advent of new enabling technologies and the surge in corporate scandals has combined to increase the supply, the demand, and the development of enabling technologies…

Abstract

The advent of new enabling technologies and the surge in corporate scandals has combined to increase the supply, the demand, and the development of enabling technologies for a new system of continuous assurance and measurement. This paper positions continuous assurance (CA) as a methodology for the analytic monitoring of corporate business processes, taking advantage of the automation and integration of business processes brought about by information technologies. Continuous analytic monitoring-based assurance will change the objectives, timing, processes, tools, and outcomes of the assurance process.

The objectives of assurance will expand to encompass a wide set of qualitative and quantitative management reports. The nature of this assurance will be closer to supervisory activities and will involve intensive interchange with more of the firm s stakeholders than just its shareholders. The timing of the audit process will be very close to the event, automated, and will conform to the natural life cycle of the underlying business processes. The processes of assurance will change dramatically to being meta-supervisory in nature, intrusive with the potential of process interruption, and focusing on very different forms of evidential matter than the traditional audit. The tools of the audit will expand considerably with the emergence of major forms of new auditing methods relying heavily on an integrated set of automated information technology (IT) and analytical tools. These will include automatic confirmations (confirmatory extranets), control tags (transparent tagging) tools, continuity equations, and time-series cross-sectional analytics. Finally, the outcomes of the continuous assurance process will entail an expanded set of assurances, evergreen opinions, some future assurances, some improvement on control processes (through incorporating CA tests), and some improved data integrity.

A continuous audit is a methodology that enables independent auditors to provide written assurance on a subject matter, for which an entity’s management is responsible, using a series of auditors’ reports issued virtually simultaneously with, or a short period of time after, the occurrence of events underlying the subject matter.

  • CICA/AICPA Research Study on Continuous Auditing (1999)

CICA/AICPA Research Study on Continuous Auditing (1999)

Companies must disclose certain information on a current basis.

  • Corporate and Auditing Accountability, Responsibility, and Transparency (Sarbanes-Oxley) Act (2002)

Corporate and Auditing Accountability, Responsibility, and Transparency (Sarbanes-Oxley) Act (2002)

Details

Continuous Auditing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-413-4

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Book part
Publication date: 8 March 2018

David Y. Chan and Miklos A. Vasarhelyi

The traditional audit paradigm is outdated in the real time economy. Innovation of the traditional audit process is necessary to support real time assurance. Practitioners…

Abstract

The traditional audit paradigm is outdated in the real time economy. Innovation of the traditional audit process is necessary to support real time assurance. Practitioners and academics are exploring continuous auditing as a potential successor to the traditional audit paradigm. Using technology and automation, continuous auditing methodology enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of the audit process to support real time assurance. This paper defines how continuous auditing methodology introduces innovation to practice in seven dimensions and proposes a four-stage paradigm to advance future research. In addition, we formulate a set of methodological propositions concerning the future of assurance for practitioners and academic researchers.

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