The auditing franchise entrusted to the CPA profession represents a valuable grant of public trust. Given the myriad ways that technology is transforming audit practices, it is worth asking whether the profession is keeping pace with the changes to best serve the needs of stakeholders in the future.
This month features an exclusive CPA Journal roundtable discussion on these issues and more. The participants bring perspectives from big firms and small, academia, consulting, and the legal world. Their wide-ranging discussion acknowledged the expectations gap that exists between the public and the profession, addressed the challenges presented by information technologies and their ever-increasing production of data, and pondered how the next generation might adopt creative solutions to the problems vexing today's auditors. There is an admission that the auditing profession needs to do some tough soul-searching—but also an optimism that, with dynamic leadership, tomorrow's professionals will find the answers sought by clients and the public.
Also featured this month is an introduction to data analysis. The authors review some of the emerging approaches to data analysis that can enable auditors to focus on the outliers. This audit by exception approach provides a more efficient way of identifying and focusing on problematic transactions.