1992, English, Thesis edition: "Real-izing" the benefits of new technologies as a source of audit evidence [microform] : an interpretive field study / Fischer, Michael J. Fischer, Michael J.

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Physical Description
  • 4 microfiches.
Published
  • Ann Arbor, Mich. : UMI, 1992.
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • "Real-izing" the benefits of new technologies as a source of audit evidence : an interpretive field study /‚Äč Fischer, Michael J.
Author
  • Fischer, Michael J.
Published
  • Ann Arbor, Mich. : UMI, 1992.
Medium
  • [microform]
Physical Description
  • 4 microfiches.
Summary
  • The development of new audit technologies has been the focus of a great deal of attention by both auditing academics and CPA firm administrators during the past decade. A great deal of resources have been devoted to the development and scientific validation of sophisticated new technologies with the anticipation that increased audit "effectiveness" and "efficiency" would result.
  • However, essentially no published research exists that has examined the use of these new technologies by audit practitioners. Accordingly, it is not known what the rate of acceptance of new audit technologies has been, how these technologies are being used, or what the results of their use have been.
  • The research reported in this dissertation was conducted as an interpretive field study within several "Big 6" CPA firms, with a focus on proprietary audit technologies which had been recently implemented or discontinued.
  • Broadly stated, the objective of this dissertation was to begin development of a grounded theory of audit technology adoption and use, with a specific focus on the ways in which audit technologies come to be interpreted as a source of audit evidence by field auditors, and on the relation between these interpretations and the auditors' adoption and use actions.
  • The data underlying the dissertation was gathered through in-depth interviews with audit partners and managers in both the national and selected practice offices of the firms, and through other field observations made by the researcher. All of the examined audit technologies involved new audit approaches, rather than simply the automation of existing, established approaches to audit evidence generation and evaluation.
  • The central finding reported in this dissertation is that benefits in the form of enhanced audit efficiency did not result directly from the adoption and use of these new technologies. Rather, these benefits, where they were reported to have occurred, resulted from the concomitant reduction or elimination of other audit procedures that had been performed in the past.
  • Based upon these findings, it is argued that the "benefits" of new audit technologies, as a source of audit evidence, do not objectively exist in the technologies themselves, and that these benefits are not automatically realized through the adoption and use of the technologies. Rather, the benefits attributed to the technologies are seen to be made real, or "realized", through actions taken by the auditors concurrent with technology adoption.
  • The actions necessary to "real-ize" the new technologies as an efficient source of audit evidence were found to have been most often taken when the auditors described themselves as being in a situation similar to the "double bind" that has been articulated in the auditing time budget pressure literature.
  • In this situation, auditors are caught between two incompatible forces: the need to reduce the cost of performing an audit, to be responsive to increasing fee pressures from clients; and the need to maintain, or even increase, audit quality. All of the existing research that has examined this dilemma has tacitly assumed that it must be worked out by the auditor within an existing, unchangeable model for conducting an audit.
  • While the observations made during this study do suggest that auditors' judgments regarding the extent of audit testing necessary to support their opinions are highly constrained by what has been done in the past, the research findings suggest another way out of this dilemma.
  • When adopted under these cost-quality pressures, the new technologies appeared to provide the auditors with a basis for rationalizing, or objectivating, reducing the overall cost of performing an audit while still maintaining the belief that sufficient competent evidential matter had been collected.
  • In fact, it appears that being caught in this "double bind" may be necessary before auditors will discredit their institutionalized knowledge regarding the nature and extent of testing necessary to support an audit opinion, and "real-ize" and internalize new technologies as sources of audit evidence.
  • The findings of this dissertation research are felt to have implications for auditing practice and administration, auditing education, and auditing research. A central theme in all of these implications is the need to recognize, and develop a deeper understanding of, the socially constructed nature of auditing realities.
Notes
  • Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Pennsylvania State University.
Language
  • English
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Curtin University. Curtin University Library. Open to the public 9927598400001951; MICROFICHE BGN 93-11632; ROB; RMICR Thesis English
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