Date of Project
W. Fielding Rubel School of Business
Dr. Elizabeth Payne- Accounting Department, Thesis Advisor
Dr. David Collins- Reader
Jennifer Thomas- Reader
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the world as we know it, and the audit field is no exception. The transition for a majority of public accounting firms and their clients to remote work amidst a global pandemic sparked my interest in the already rapidly evolving field of audit IT usage, which continually affects audit quality and efficiency. My research expands on existing studies completed on this topic prior to COVID-19 and includes three main research objectives. First, my research examines the usage and perceived importance of common types of IT audit applications, such as CAATs and data analytics, as well as productivity tools used by auditors, including video conferences and email. Furthermore, I analyze the potential impacts of COVID-19 on this usage among audit professionals of varying ages, firms, and area of work. Finally, I investigate the perceptions of the future of IT assurance departments in public accounting firms and their collaboration with financial auditors. I utilized a questionnaire to collect data from 99 auditors representing a Big 4 and large regional firm in the Midwest. My results indicate that the most used IT audit applications include Dashboards, Knowledge Management Systems, and Audit Planning/Management Software. Furthermore, all forms of technology communication tools increased in usage due to COVID-19 except for email, and auditors were equally split on whether the pandemic positively or negatively impacted work-life balance. Finally, my results indicated that nearly all auditors believe the IT assurance field will increase in size and importance in the future.
Beechem, Olivia, "IT Usage in Auditing and the Impact of COVID-19" (2021). Undergraduate Theses. 56.