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Title: The implications of the audit client's information technology environment on the external audit
Authors: Buhagiar, Nicolette
Keywords: Audit firms -- Malta
Information technology -- Auditing
Auditing -- Malta
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: Technology affects all aspects of the business and thus has a significant impact on the external audit and the audit profession. This dissertation examines the effect that the increase in the complexity of the audit client's information technology environment has on the external audit. It explores the increased pressures that Maltese audit firms are facing. This study seeks to assess how local different sized audit firms are dealing with these situations. It analyses the level of appropriate IT skills that the auditor must have and what criteria determines the inclusion of an IT specialist in the audit team. The effect of IT outsourcing and different IT systems is also discussed. The study probes the question of whether continuous auditing is regarded as a feasible audit method for local audit clients. A qualitative approach consisting of in-depth interviews has been adopted in this study. Ten interviews were held with auditors, IT auditors and IT specialists from audit firms with 2 or more partners. Sole practitioners were omitted as their inclusion would have an insignificant contribution in this respect. This research offers an insight as to how different sized audit firms are dealing with auditing in a complex IT environment by investing in IT personnel and training financial auditors. The study reveals that the large audit firms are affected more than the smaller audit firms as their clients tend to have a more complex IT environment. Interviewees have indicated that IT outsourcing in Malta is still immature and that the practice of continuous auditing is regarded as theoretical by local audit practitioners. This study backs past literature in calling for financial auditors to have a higher level of IT skills.
Description: B.ACCTY.(HONS)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEma - 2009
Dissertations - FacEMAAcc - 2009

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