Automation in the Audit Process: Obstacles and Benefits with Automation of Audit Procedures

Christian Sejer

Student thesis: Master thesis


The ways we see automation today combined with new technologies, allow us the think processes in a whole new way. There are numerous examples of promoting the benefits of intelligent automation. The problem definition of this candidate thesis is why auditors does not utilize automation more as a part of the performed audit procedures. Looking at examples from different companies, it appears that there are advantages that also auditors can benefit from. Therefore, obstacles must appear, when auditors try to enable intelligent automation in the audit process. In my analysis, I have studied this issue based on previous academic studies, as well as interviews with relevant subjects. The analysis shows that there are advantages for the auditor through the use of automation. These are competitiveness, quality, risk-oriented focus and timeliness of the audit. Automation can thus contribute with several benefits for the auditor. Unfortunately, there is a range of obstacles which auditors run into, when trying to implement intelligent automated audit procedures. These are auditors’ competencies, process management, IT security, data quality, and formalization and documentation. All which the analysis concludes are reasons why auditors not yet have used intelligent automation at a larger scale. The answer to the conclusion lies in these obstacles. Auditor will not be able to adopt intelligent automation as easily as other business groups, because of a range of specific characteristics. It is also my conclusion that if the auditor is aware of, and is willing to work with these obstacles, it can successfully implement and apply automation. This is particularly relevant as several subjects indicate that this may be of major importance to the auditor's future relevance to society.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages109
SupervisorsKim Klarskov Jeppesen