you are employed in a small audit firm as a senior auditor one of your colleagues sa 3857690

You are employed in a small audit firm, as a senior auditor. One of your colleagues, Savannah

(an intermediate in your firm who recently helped you to complete preliminary analytical

procedures for a client), has contacted you with some concerns: she has heard from a family

friend that auditors will become redundant in a few years due to rapid advancements in audit

technology. She wants to know how advancements in technology will affect her role in the

audit team including the way she communicates with other staff, and how your firm will

complete analytical procedures in the future. She has asked you for your personal views on

whether auditors will be replaced by automated technology within the foreseeable future.

The firm you work for, like many small firms, currently prepares audit workpapers

predominantly in Excel. The firm has an Excel file that includes a standard audit program and

workpaper templates for recommended audit procedures. This file is used as the basis for all

of the firm’s audit engagements and is customised for each engagement (e.g. sheets are

added and deleted as appropriate). The first sheet in the file is titled “Matters for partner

attention”; you use this to note concerns that are identified during audits. In addition to

communicating via “Matters for partner attention”, you have face-to-face meetings with the

audit partner and other members of the audit team as necessary. Despite all staff being based

in the same physical office, email communication is the norm in your firm. Phone calls also

occur but are infrequent and are principally used when staff are off-site (e.g. when visiting a


Your task:

Your task is to research recent developments in audit technology and prepare an email

response to your colleague which covers the points below:

• Briefly explain 3 key technologies that are affecting (or threatening to affect) the audit

profession (for example: Audit Support Systems, Blockchain technology, etc.).

• Discuss the “disruptive” potential of these technologies (e.g. how will they change the

way auditors operate). As part of your discussion, identify how the technologies can:

o affect communication within the audit team,

o support auditor’s analytical procedures at various stages in the audit, and

o reduce the influence of auditor bias in decision-making.

• Comment on whether (and to what extent) you feel these technologies have the

potential to replace human auditors.

• Comment on which of these technologies you feel would be most appropriate for your

firm to adopt, and why.


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