\
 

Effect of Software Features on Generalized Audit Software Use: The Moderating Role of Training and Audit Tasks

Hyo-Jeong Kim, Seoul National University of Science and Technology
Michael Mannino, University of Colorado Denver
Bruce Neumann, University of Colorado Denver

Description

The emergence of computer-assisted auditing tools and techniques (CAATTs) has changed the way that auditors conduct their audit tasks. Generalized audit software (GAS), the most commonly used CAATT, has been utilized by auditors to perform querying, sorting, summarizing, stratifying, and other analytical tasks as part of the audit process. GAS software packages (e.g., ACL, IDEA) are widely adopted but their acceptance by audit professionals are low, especially certain features of GAS (i.e., Benford’s Law) were underutilized by auditors (Kim et al., 2009). Little is known about factors that promote the auditors’ use of specific GAS features. \ We conducted a two-group post-test only randomized experiment to examine the moderating effect of training and audit tasks on the relationship between GAS features and GAS use. We trained 56 audit professionals in using a specific tool, Benford’s Law, to test the use of software features to complete six audit tasks using GAS. The treatment group of 28 auditors received online training in Benford’s law before the experiment. The control group of 28 auditors received the training after the experiment was conducted. The use of GAS features on the six audit tasks was recorded by participants using a 7-point Likert scale to indicate the use of 11 audit software features (e.g., import, extraction, stratification, graph, Benford’s Law, etc.). \ The results show that the use of GAS varies by GAS features. Advanced features are underutilized by audit professionals. Although prior research showed the conflicted effect of software training, our study found that training has a positive effect on the use of Benford’s Law features for specific audit tasks. Auditors have a tendency to apply the newly trained software skills to both trained and untrained audit tasks. For an easier task, they immediately switch to a new software skill, but for a difficult task, they explore both new and old software features.

 
Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

Effect of Software Features on Generalized Audit Software Use: The Moderating Role of Training and Audit Tasks

The emergence of computer-assisted auditing tools and techniques (CAATTs) has changed the way that auditors conduct their audit tasks. Generalized audit software (GAS), the most commonly used CAATT, has been utilized by auditors to perform querying, sorting, summarizing, stratifying, and other analytical tasks as part of the audit process. GAS software packages (e.g., ACL, IDEA) are widely adopted but their acceptance by audit professionals are low, especially certain features of GAS (i.e., Benford’s Law) were underutilized by auditors (Kim et al., 2009). Little is known about factors that promote the auditors’ use of specific GAS features. \ We conducted a two-group post-test only randomized experiment to examine the moderating effect of training and audit tasks on the relationship between GAS features and GAS use. We trained 56 audit professionals in using a specific tool, Benford’s Law, to test the use of software features to complete six audit tasks using GAS. The treatment group of 28 auditors received online training in Benford’s law before the experiment. The control group of 28 auditors received the training after the experiment was conducted. The use of GAS features on the six audit tasks was recorded by participants using a 7-point Likert scale to indicate the use of 11 audit software features (e.g., import, extraction, stratification, graph, Benford’s Law, etc.). \ The results show that the use of GAS varies by GAS features. Advanced features are underutilized by audit professionals. Although prior research showed the conflicted effect of software training, our study found that training has a positive effect on the use of Benford’s Law features for specific audit tasks. Auditors have a tendency to apply the newly trained software skills to both trained and untrained audit tasks. For an easier task, they immediately switch to a new software skill, but for a difficult task, they explore both new and old software features.