January 2023

Technology : The New Audit Team Member

Abhishek Agrawal, Chartered Accountant

The rapid growth that we are witnessing is the result of the massive digitization of operations to achieve qualitative outputs with less time and effort.

The same concept applies to the audit profession as well. Auditors can deal with business transactions that are complex and voluminous while going digital. Regulators also use technology to achieve better compliance through quality assurance services.

The auditors have nearly no option but to use digital audit tools and techniques, to deal with complex and voluminous transactions, and provide superior assurance services in less time and with less effort. There are various digital tools presently available in the market that can be used by the auditors throughout the audit life cycle i.e., starting from evaluation and documentation of prospective client and audit engagements, audit planning, execution, and completion.

The Audit Quality Maturity Model (AQMM) and its implementation guide that has been recently released by ICAI in February 2022, have also emphasized that the adoption of digital audit tools and new-age technologies, can significantly help auditors to improve their level of maturity.

The objective of this article is to discuss the relevance of digital tools and techniques, and how the auditor can use them at different stages of audit to ensure effective planning, execution, and completion of audit engagements.

CLIENT EVALUATION

SQC 1 requires that the firms should obtain such information as it considers necessary, before accepting an engagement with a new client when deciding whether to continue an existing engagement and when considering acceptance of a new engagement with an existing client. Also, where issues have been identified, and the firm decides to accept or continue the client relationship or a specific engagement, it should document how the issues were resolved.

In order to meet the above requirement, the firm may choose to do the evaluation of client acceptance and continuation in a digital format, wherein different enquiries, which in the firmís view are required to be made before accepting or continuing a new or existing client, and can be defined in the tool, may be in in the form of a questionnaire or templates that are required to be filled for the assessment, and wherein the necessary evidences can be attached or uploaded to support the assessment and conclusion. For example, the firm may design a questionnaire that includes relevant questions w

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