The Auditor of the Future: An Examination of the Future Competencies of the Auditor as a Result of the Digital Transformation

Sebastian Vogt Petersen & Michael Rude Mortensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


During the last years the technology within the audit business has been developing at a fast pace. New audit processes and tool are being introduced. Therefore, this thesis sets out to examine which competencies the auditor of the future should have to remain competitive in its business. The analysis has been performed by an examination of what characterize the auditor of today by the means of a literature review. This showed how the auditor works today, and which tools the auditor use in its daily job. Hereafter the competencies of the future auditor is examined by a comparison of two mayor studies by FSR – danske revisorer and International Chartered Accountants of Scotland and 8 interviews of stakeholders with a great knowledge on the topic, all with an interest in the future of the auditor. The interviewees were of the opinion that audit teams in the future should comprise of more industry specialists and have IT auditors as an integrated part of the team. The literature showed that the audit tools are developing fast within process atomization and robotics as these technologies already have automized repetitive tasks. The interviewees agreed that these technologies are changing the competencies of the future auditor as the auditor shall have a more comprehensive technological understand on how to utilize these new tools. The literature and the interviewees agreed that the audit standards are not barriers but needs to be modernized to meet the digital agenda. Furthermore, the literature and the interviewees agreed that education of future auditors needs to include elements of technological tools to perform a digital audit. The two mayor studies agreed with the interviewees that the three most important competencies of the future auditor are soft skills, technological understanding and industry knowledge. The thesis presents five recommendations to the auditors, regulators and educational institutions, on how to secure the competencies of the future that were identified in the analysis. This is to ensure the auditors get on track with the future of digital audit, and to ensure that auditors can continue to deliver value to their customers.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages118