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Discussant's Response to "The Impact of Technological Events and Trends on Audit Evidence in the Year 2000: Phase I" Stephen M. Paroby Ernst & Whinney My compliments go to authors Holstrum, Mock, and West for a well-written and well-thought-out paper and a project that will have a significant impact on all of us. Mark Twain once said, "It's all right to make predictions, but not about the future." Technological forecasting tends to be optimistic in the short run and pessimistic in the long run. Had this paper been written in 1970, I truly wonder if it would have predicted today's environment. However, the authors have taken a compilation of speculations that are often difficult to quantify or fully support and put them in a perspective that will certainly jar today's auditor. Computerized systems benefit all of us in several ways. Computers process transactions with much greater consistency than is possible in a manual system. In addition, the speed and flexibility of computer processing provide wide-ranging capabilities for a timely, reliable reporting of high volumes of information. These capabilities give management greater opportunity to make informed business decisions and allow management to react quickly to and capitalize on business developments. As the number of on-line systems and paperless transactions continue to increase, new products will continue to emerge to provide auditors with more sophisticated computer-assisted audit techniques. Advancing technology such as micro-to-mainframe communications, down-loading of information from centralized or decentralized sites, expert systems, and artificial intelligence probably will not change basic audit techniques of review and verification. What this technology will change significantly is the way auditors evaluate and test systems. The traditional approach of examining "hard" copies is neither adequate nor feasible. Computerized techniques have been developed to deal with this task. Various software programs and utilities can provide exception reports and other audit-related information. Embedded audit modules can select and verify all or a sample of transactions and generalized audit software performs calculations faster and much more accurately than we could manually. However, the consistency, speed, and flexibility of the computer can pose additional control concerns for us as auditors. These concerns include: 1. The effect of errors may be compounded. For example, the computer may prepare sales invoices by taking the quantity input and extending it by price on the sales price master file. If the program is not functioning properly (e.g., selecting incorrect prices, 147
Discussant's Response to "Impact of technological events and trends on audit evidence in the year 2000: Phase I"
Srivastava, Rajendra P., ed.
Ford, N. Allen, ed.
Auditing -- Data processing
auditing -- Documentation
Auditing Symposium VIII: Proceedings of the 1986 Touche Ross/University of Kansas Symposium on Auditing Problems, pp. 147-151
|Source||Published by: University of Kansas, School of Business|
|Rights||Contents have not been copyrighted|
|Format||PDF page image with corrected OCR scanned at 400 dpi|
|Collection||Deloitte Digital Collection|
|Digital Publisher||University of Mississippi Library. Accounting Collection|