Digitalization in the Audit Process: An Empirical Study of the Impact of Digitalization on the Audit Process in Danish Audit Firms

Michael Riddersholm Høj & Julius Kousgaard

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis examines the extent to which the increasing digitization is reflected in the use of digital tools in Danish audit firms and the impact of digitalization on the efficiency and quality of the audit process. The thesis focuses on a comparison between large audit firms against medium-sized and small audit firms.
In recent years, the world has seen a huge upheaval in the way business is conducted. Digitalization has led to increased financial benefits for those who manage to implement it in their firms. Similarly, the audit industry is strongly influenced by the increasing digitization and is currently undergoing a massive transformation, resettling from using traditional auditing techniques to becoming a more data-driven audit.
The thesis argues that the increasing digitization in the audit industry is a result of various internal and external pressures that force the auditor to increase efficiency and quality of the audit.
The digital transformation of the audit industry is reflected in the implementation of several new digital tools in different parts of the audit process, as a result of the development of new technologies.
The analysis of the thesis is based on a questionnaire, answered by 146 Danish audit practitioners, as well as interviews with professional experts.
It is observed in the analysis that digital tools are used to some extent in all phases of the audit process. However, when examining the underlying procedures of the phases of the audit process it is observed that the use of digital tools is widely dispersed.
Comparing observations between large audit firms versus smaller audit firms, it is observed that respondents from the larger audit firms generally believe that there is a higher degree of implementation of digital tools compared to the respondents from medium sized and small audit firms. Further it is observed, that the respondents from medium sized and small audit firms to a larger degree indicate that digitization contributes to increased efficiency, opposed to respondents from larger audit firms that to a larger degree indicate that digitalization leads to increased quality of processes.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages169