ASEC’s Emerging Assurance Technologies Task Force established the Audit Data Standard working group to help develop new technologies that will contribute to the effectiveness, timeliness, and efficiency of the audit process.
The main project stream of the Audit Data Standard working group is Data Standardization/Data Analysis. One of the objectives of Data Standardization/Data Analysis is to establish a standardized data model (initially focused on the general ledger, but evolving beyond that) that management, as well as internal and external auditors could utilize for enhanced analytics that would contribute to the timeliness and effectiveness of the audit process. The three main elements of Data Standardization/Data Access are: Audit Data Standards, Data Access and Audit Applications (APPs).
The task force has developed a voluntary, uniform audit data standard that provides a common framework covering (1) data (e.g., files, fields, and technical specifications), (2) meta data (i.e., business rules to aid in the understanding of the data) and (3) validation routines to assess the completeness and integrity of the data. The standard provides key information needed for audits, and is offered in either of the following two formats: (1) XBRL GL, or (2) flat file format (tab-delimited UTF-8 text file format). Included in the document is a General Ledger standard as well as an Order to Cash – Accounts Receivable subledger standard.
The working group has issued an exposure draft of the Audit Data Standard for public comment.