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IAASB Working Group Seeks Input on the Growing Use of Data Analytics in the Audit

Sep 1, 2016 | New York, New York | English

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)’s Data Analytics Working Group is furthering its work to understand how the use of technology, and more specifically data analytics, is able to enhance audit quality. Today, the IAASB released a Request for Input, Exploring the Growing Use of Technology in the Audit, with a Focus on Data Analytics. Supplementing this publication is a call for nominations for a newly formed Project Advisory Panel to further advise the IAASB and the Data Analytics Working Group (DAWG) on developments relevant to standard setting.

“Technological change is occurring at a rapid pace, ushering in the capability to capture and communicate data digitally, on an unprecedented scale and almost instantaneously. With this change comes increased stakeholder expectations about how technology can be used to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of audits of financial statements,” said IAASB Chairman Prof. Arnold Schilder. “With this publication we hope to bring together relevant stakeholders to meet these expectations, which starts by fostering a dialogue about how innovative techniques can be used.”

The Request for Input provides insights into the opportunities and challenges with the use of data analytics in the audit of financial statements and outlines the insights gained from the DAWG’s activities to date. The purpose of the Request for Input is to:

  • Inform stakeholders about the IAASB’s ongoing work to explore effective and appropriate use of technology, with a focus on data analytics, in the audit of financial statements; and
  • Obtain stakeholder input and perspectives on whether all of the considerations relevant to the use of data analytics in a financial statement audit have been identified.

“We are encouraged by the work accounting firms, national standard setters, and others are doing to explore how data analytics can be used in the audit,” noted Bob Dohrer, IAASB member and DAWG Chair. “While the International Standards on Auditing do not prohibit the use of data analytics, the standards need to better address increasing complexity, taking into account the rapidly changing technological developments in both the business and audit environment. The Request for Input highlights that timely feedback about innovations in this area, including views about the potential implications to the audit of today, will be of use in a number of the IAASB’s current projects.”

The Working Group is seeking input from investors, preparers, those in governance roles, standard setters, practitioners, internal auditors, regulators, academics, and other stakeholders in the external reporting supply chain. The input will assist the IAASB in effectively responding to these developments in the public interest, including determining whether new or revised international standards or guidance may be necessary. Comments to the Request for Input are requested by February 15, 2017.

More information and updates on the project, are available on the IAASB’s project page.

About the IAASB
The IAASB develops auditing and assurance standards and guidance for use by all professional accountants under a shared standard-setting process involving the Public Interest Oversight Board, which oversees the activities of the IAASB, and the IAASB Consultative Advisory Group, which provides public interest input into the development of the standards and guidance. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IAASB are facilitated by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). For copyright, trademark, and permissions information, please go to permissions or contact