Continuous Audit in Denmark: An Exploratory Case Study on the Implementation of Continuous Auditing in PwC Denmark

Jacob Bengtsen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Modern advancement in technologies within the accounting profession has led to more real-time accounting, where accounting information is reported simultaneously with or short after the accounting event has occurred. This shift in paradigm to has led to increasing demand for the auditor to adopt new audit techniques to enable auditing of accounting information in real time, such as Continuous Auditing (CA). Due to the difference in roles of the internal and external auditor, this method has primarily been adopted by internal auditing functions, and therefore literature lacks studies on the adoption by external auditors. This paper seeks to examine the status of implementation of CA by the external auditor in the Danish auditing profession. To thoroughly examine and understand the underlying reasoning behind adopting this technique, the paper performs a case study examination on one of the Big 4 accounting firms, PwC Denmark. This paper seeks to answer the research question: How does PwC Denmark relate to implementation of Continuous Auditing in their audit process, and what factors drive or limit the implementation? The examination was done using qualitative analysis methods by conducting interviews with several experts in PwC and interpreting their statements. This paper finds that PwC Denmark has no formal agenda for implementing CA, but currently has several initiatives that supports the implementation and use of CA. In this regard, it is found that the primary limitation in the implementation is the lack of necessary skills among auditors to use advanced data analysis technologies and the challenge in both upskilling and recruiting these skills. Furthermore, it is found that increased employee satisfaction and customer value are primary motivation drivers for implementing the technique. Even though CA has been foreshadowed as a necessary replacement for traditional audit methods, it still has not been adopted by some external auditors in PwC Denmark. In order to motivate the adoption, more experimental research needs to be done to contribute with experience and knowledge on how to perform Continuous Auditing, how to accommodate the challenges in the implementation, and what benefits come with performing CA

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2022
Number of pages86
SupervisorsKim Klarskov Jeppesen