Executive Summary: The focus on the use of data analysis has increased significantly during recent years. The amount of available data during the last years has increased, which is a potential waiting to be exploited. For auditors, this has been a focus area, both when it comes to branding the firm and in considering the profitability. Auditors have the necessary data available, but the question remains as to how they can utilize this potential, and what effect it has on the audit effectiveness and efficiency for the auditor and the value creation for the customer. In this thesis, we have examined data analytics from an audit process perspective, including any requirements herein when using a data analytical approach. Furthermore, we have examined the effects from applying data analytics in the audit, on effectiveness defined as the strength of the audit evidence, the efficiency defined as the amount of resources used to obtain the necessary audit evidence and the value creation defined as net positive effects on cash flows. The analysis has been based on assessing data analysis in the audit process and accepted theories from among others Mautz & Sharaf has been applied to assess the effect on audit evidence by the use of data analytics. According to our analysis there are no specific requirements for auditors when applying data analytics in the audit process. Furthermore, our analysis concludes that the results from data analytical procedures cannot stand alone, but depend on auditor’s judgment. Consequently, data analytics will only be able to improve the basis on which judgments are made upon. Based on our analysis, we have assessed that in terms of effectiveness, data analytics will have an effect on especially planning analysis, test of controls, substantive procedures and consequently this could have a positive effect on the strength of the evidence when data analytical procedures are applied in these procedures. According to our analysis the effects on the efficiency depends on what extent the auditor is applying data analytics in the audit process. If data analytical procedures are used to a certain extent this will have a positive effect on the efficiency, whereas insufficient use of data analytics will not increase the efficiency as a certain amount of resources has been used to implement it into the audit process. Audit is not necessarily a value adding service when assessing this on a standalone basis, we have, however, analyzed if the use of data analytics in the audit process can be value adding by the procedures performed in order to obtain audit evidence. According to our analysis, if the auditor is able to provide the client with new knowledge, which the client can use and the knowledge indirectly has an effect on the cash flow or reduces the risks, it can be value adding.
|Educations||MSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||120|