Today, information technology plays a pivotal role in financial control and audit: most financial data is now digitally recorded and dispersed among servers, clouds and networks over which the audited firm has no control. Additionally, a firm’s data—particularly in the case of finance, software, insurance and biotech firms— comprises most of the audited value of the firm. Financial audits are critical mechanisms for ensuring the integrity of information systems and the reporting of organizational finances. They help avoid the abuses that led to passage of legislation such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (1977), and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002).
Audit effectiveness has declined over the past two decades as auditor skillsets have failed to keep up with advances in information technology. Information and communication technology lie at the core of commerce today and are integrated in business processes around the world. This book is designed to meet the increasing need of audit professionals to understand information technology and the controls required to manage it. The material included focuses on the requirements for annual Securities and Exchange Commission audits (10-K) for listed corporations. These represent the benchmark auditing procedures for specialized audits, such as internal, governmental, and attestation audits.
Using R and RStudio, the book demonstrates how to render an audit opinion that is legally and statistically defensible; analyze, extract, and manipulate accounting data; build a risk assessment matrix to inform the conduct of a cost-effective audit program; and more.