Data Analytics – IAASB [Completed]

Next steps:

The IAASB’s efforts on technology, including data analytics, are ongoing. They involve integrating technology considerations when revising the IAASB’s standards as part of other standard setting activities.

Last up­dated:

January 2021


Technological change is occurring at a rapid pace, ushering in the capability to capture and communicate data digitally, on an unprecedented scale and almost instantaneously. This has resulted in an increasing focus on data, whether structured or unstructured, and whether generated internally or externally to the entity. 

The use of data analytics in the audit of financial statements is at an early stage. Auditors are expanding the areas of use and audit regulators and oversight bodies are just beginning to see the impact of the use of data analytics in the audit through inspection activity. Academic studies of the role that data analytics can play in enhancing audit quality are also underway. Wholesale change to the ISAs at this time is likely to have unintended consequences due to the fast paced nature of the developments with data analytics in the audit of financial statements.

The Data Analytics Working Group (DAWG) of the IAASB continues:

  • to explore and understand how the use of technology and more specifically, data analytics, is able to enhance audit quality (thus retaining the audit’s place in the financial reporting chain and enhancing the reliability of the audit in an increasingly technology driven environment).
  • to remain focused on evaluating whether and clearly articulating how innovations in technology enhance audit quality.
  • Its dialogue with auditors of all sizes, regulators and audit oversight bodies, preparers, investors, those charged with governance, other relevant stakeholders in the external reporting supply chain and national auditing standard setters to further understand relevant issues and to leverage the work that has been done by others. This dialogue will also help the IAASB to understand how auditors are innovating to meet emerging public interest expectations.

For more in­for­ma­tion and up­dates on the IAASB’s cur­rent pro­ject on Technology, visit the IAASB’s pro­ject page.


Other De­vel­op­ments

January 2018

On January 8, 2018, the IAASB issued a Feedback Statement prepared by the DAWG and staff of the IAASB on exploring the growing use of technology in the audit, with a focus on data analytics. This Feedback Statement provides an overview of the key messages from the responses to the questions in the IAASB’s RFI of September, 2016.

January 2017

On January 9, 2017, the IAASB released a 23 minute video in which Mr. Bob Dohrer, IAASB Member and Chair of the IAASB’s DAWG, provides an update of the IAASB’s data analytics project, including (i) the highlights of the feedback received on the RFI of September 2016, as well as (ii) the activities performed to date and (iii) the vision for the Working Group in its way forward.

September 2016

On September 1, 2016, IAASB released a Request for Input, "Exploring the Growing Use of Technology in the Audit, with a Focus on Data Analytics." By issuing this request, the IAASB’s Data Analytics Working Group is furthering its work to understand how the use of technology, and more specifically data analytics, is able to enhance audit quality. Supplementing this publication is a call for nominations for a newly formed Project Advisory Panel to further advise the IAASB and the Data Analytics Working Group (DAWG) on developments relevant to standard setting.


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