• Peter Førby Kappel
4. term, Business Economics and Auditing, Master (Master Programme)
The purpose of this thesis is to explain which elements of the audit process is expected to undergo a digital transformation. The technologies in question are robotics, data analytics and cloud computing. The purpose is thus to explain how the increasing digitalization changes the auditor’s work in the audit process and what challenges the digital development will entail within five years. This thesis is conducted in the Danish audit industry, where the focus is the smallest audit firms (tier-3).
To answer the thesis question two methodological tools are used to provide primary data; semi structed interviews and questionnaire survey. There have been conducted five interviews with state authorized or registered auditors as representatives of the tier-3 segment in the Danish auditing industry. All auditors have years of experience in auditing and are involved in the decision-making process regarding new digitization initiatives. Furthermore, there have been conducted an interview with the business manager of FSR – danske revisorer, who have wider insight knowledge into the digitization of the segment in question. The questionnaire survey contains 48 respondents with the respondents consisting of current auditors in Denmark. To support the primary data, secondary data consisting of International Auditing Standards (ISA), industry reports, literature and articles on software technologies have been incorporated.
Initially, it is concluded to what extent digitalization has already taken place in the audit process. The deployment and use of cloud computing software is most frequently used but the presence of data analytics and RPA-software is also observed. Based on the current presence of these technologies and the knowledge obtained through the primary data, it can be concluded that tier-3 auditors see great potential in applying these technologies across the audit process and will change the auditor´s way of conducting audit assignment in the future. Each technology has different digitization potential, where cloud computing-software will enhance data quality by digitizing the transaction chains but also streamline data exchange and provide the foundation for further digital transformation. Data analytics can enhance the quality of the audit evidence through a better understanding of the transaction process within the business, but also in transition from sampling to instead processing all transactions. RPA-software will be able to efficiently handle the processes involving the administrative tasks related to the audit but also assist in performing data analyzes.
This way the digital transformation will change how the auditor approaches the work in the audit process. Among al the technologies, the interest in RPA-software is the most common.
Three main challenges have been identified for the tier-3 segment caused by the increasing digitization. The lack of IT skills for handling the transition from an analogue to a more digital process that meets the market expectations, and low quality of data from the auditor’s customers is considered to particularly slow down a digital transition. Furthermore, it is feared that the auditor’s professional skepticism will, as a result, be impaired. However, digitization can instead lead to change in the professional skepticism as auditors will need to rely on technical skills in the audit process in the future.
Publication date31 May 2020
Number of pages200


ID: 333330805