This thesis is the last element in the Master of Science in Business Economics and Auditing study programme at Copenhagen Business School. The thesis discusses the Auditor’s role and the risk of fraud in relation to the future way that external reporting will be done. The expression future external reporting is characterised by being digital and reported in real-time meaning continuously at all time. The thesis discusses how globalization, stakeholder perspectives, know how and technology has changed user demands regarding external reporting, which can be described with the following keywords: increased need for information, more heterogenic information, user adapted information, relevant and reliable information, comparable and understandable information, non financial information, increased accessibility. After introducing XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) it has been concluded that reporting in a digital real-time format meets the users’ demands better than the historic paper based annual report does. On the basis of these demands and the fraud triangle, we have analyzed how digital real-time reporting will affect the risk of fraud. It has been concluded that the demands related to digitalization can reduce the risk, but that real-time reporting can increase the risk of fraud committed by the management. The auditor will have new possibilities and should use the advantages of digitalization and create automatic controls and systems to obtain evidence and overviews faster than they can today. The auditor can, however, not perform the entire audit in real-time through substance actions and will need to focus more attention on internal controls and system audit. We have therefore concluded that the audit will have a preventive instead of a corrective focus in the future. Our thesis finishes by discussing how the above mentioned conclusions can affect the future role and work split between internal and external auditors. We have concluded that internal auditing will be used more than today in the future because of the permanent in-depth business understanding and wider work frame which the internal auditor represents. Focus will change from a purely compliance perspective to be being more operational and focused on other parts of the companies’ business. Another important part of this discussion is the independence of auditors and it is essential that external auditors maintain actual, as well as, perceived independence, which is crucial to the value of the external auditors’ attestation of the reporting. We cannot conclude that the external auditors will loose their role of creating trust to the financial information and still see this as their main product. Finally, we can conclude that digital real-time reporting seems likely to be a reality in the near future. However, real-time auditing seems to be far behind and the auditors seem to have many practical discussions left and need further guidance.
|Educations||MSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||145|