Audit Data Analytics (ADAs) Can Transform Audits; New AICPA Guide Will Help Auditors Apply ADA Techniques

December 5, 2017

  • New guide illustrates how data analysis techniques can be applied to financial statement audits in accordance with auditing standards
  • Experts will share information about key features of the new guide during a webcast on December 18, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. EST.

NEW YORK (December 5, 2017) – With the extraction and analysis of data growing in importance, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is working to familiarize CPAs with Audit Data Analytics (ADAs) that can be applied in their audit engagements.

ADAs are the science and art of discovering and analyzing patterns, identifying anomalies, and extracting other useful information in data underlying or related to the subject matter of an audit through analysis, modeling, and visualization of planning or performing the audit.

To facilitate CPA application of ADAs, the AICPA has issued a new guide, Guide to Audit Data Analytics. It is designed to provide an introduction and overview of data analytic techniques to assist financial statement auditors in applying such techniques in performing their audit engagements. The 152-page guide was developed by leading experts and academia across the profession to facilitate the use of ADAs in the financial statement audit.

“The AICPA is working to enhance audit quality through firm adoption of new skills, capabilities and technologies to better serve clients and the public,” said Susan S. Coffey, CPA, CGMA, AICPA executive vice president, public practice. “We believe technology-based audit data analytics can make the financial statement audit more effective.”

The benefits of making more use of ADAs include:

  • Improved understanding of an entity’s operations and associated risks
  • Increased potential for detecting material misstatements
  • Improved communications with those charged with governance of audited entities

“The guide’s introduction is another facet of the AICPA’s commitment to help our members perform insightful and quality-driven audits,” Coffey explained. “We are committed to giving CPAs the technology, tools, and training they need to perform at an even higher level.”