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Title: The utilisation of Generalised Audit Software (GAS) by external auditors
Authors: Ahmi, A
Kent, S
Keywords: Computerized auditing;Generalized audit software;Computerized Assisted audit tools and techniques;Small to medium‐sized enterprises;United Kingdom
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Citation: Managerial Auditing Journal, 28 (2): 88 - 113, (2013)
Abstract: Purpose – Generalized Audit Software (GAS) is the tool use by auditors to automate various audit tasks. As most accounting transactions are now computerized, auditing of accounting data is also expected to be computerized as well. While GAS is the most popular Computer Assisted Audit Tools and Technique (CAATTs), research shows that there is little evidence that GAS has been universally adopted by external auditors. This study seeks to investigate the utilization of GAS by external auditors in the UK. This study focuses on small and medium sized audit firms in the UK whereas most other GAS studies have examined ‘Big 4’ firms. Registered statutory auditors have been selected as a sample. Design/methodology/approach – A framework was developed to identify a range of relevant factors which are important when considering the application of GAS. A web-based survey has been used to gather the perceptions based on the responses from 205 statutory auditors across the UK. The questions posed to respondents were mapped against the framework. Findings – The research finds that the utilization of GAS is unusually low among audit firms in the UK. About 73% of external auditors make no use of GAS, due to the limited perceived benefit of using GAS for auditing small clients. While some respondents recognized the advantages of GAS, they were put off by what they believed to be high implementation costs; significant learning curve and adoption process; and lack of ease of use – they showed a preference for using traditional manual auditing methods instead. Research limitations/implications – This study focuses on small and medium sized auditors, and as such the results study cannot be extrapolated to Big 4 auditors. Consequently the responses and conclusions are relevant to the use of GAS during audits of smaller and medium sized companies which make up the client base of such audit firms. Originality/value – This is one of the few studies that have sought to research the utilization of GAS by the external auditor.
ISSN: 0268-6902
Appears in Collections:Dept of Computer Science Research Papers

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