The Future of Auditing : A Qualitative Study of the Swedish Audit Profession in a Digital World
Sammanfattning: Background – As we live in a more digitized world, technological advancements have already taken place and have reshaped many different industries. One of these industries is the audit profession, which is a profession where the digitalization can contribute immensely. The digitalization is an on- going process within the field of audit and have resulted in improved tools and more efficient auditing. However, new emerging risks, such as IT-risks, have progressed along the digitalization. Purpose – The purpose of this study is to explore how the digitalization affects the auditing in Sweden, and more precise, how it affects the audit process and the risk that emerges from the digitalization. Furthermore, the study will examine if there are any perceived differences among small and big audit firms in the concept of digitalization. Method – The Delphi method has been used to gather the primary data needed for the study. Practitioners from both the Big 4-firms and the smaller firms have been selected to take part of the study as experts by participating in a brainstorming session and by answering a questionnaire. This classification of the firms will be the two panels of experts within the study. Conclusion – The results indicates that the perception of digitalization of the audit process and the audit risks within the Big 4-firms and the smaller firms are somewhat alike but not ultimately. The two panels agree that the effects of the digitalization have been substantial and that the auditing in the future will be even more efficient. Regarding the risks the panels have more differentiated opinions, where the second panel, consisting of the smaller firms, believes that the digitalization has affected the risks to a larger extent than the first panel. As this thesis aimed to investigate, there is indeed a perceived difference among the Big 4-firms and the smaller firms regarding the digitalization effect on the audit process, although not a substantial one.
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