When auditors request client data to analyze as part of their audits, this data (audit data) is typically transferred to the auditor as discrete data files in a custom format. The scope of audit data covers information that is recorded in financial systems of the company, such as the following:
General ledger including trial balance
Receivables and payables ledgers
Various audit data standards have been developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Each of these initiatives define file formats for how the financial data should be expressed, but do not define the details of how transmission of this data will occur (i.e., how computers request this information, and the minimum standards needed for data transmission between two systems).
As a result, the AICPA convened a working group of subject matter experts, the AICPA Audit Data API working group, to define an audit data transfer standard (the standard) in an Open API format. The mission of the working group is to develop and publish open APIs that build upon the standards already developed by the AICPA and ISO, and to use the terms defined in those standards where applicable. The scope of the APIs covers general ledger transaction details, trial balance values at a point in time, and the following account subledgers: accounts payable, accounts receivable and inventory.
The working group welcomes feedback from all interested parties on its proposed audit data transfer standard.
The comment period ends on Friday, December 30, 2022. All comments can be sent directly to Dorothy McQuilken, Senior Manager, SOC and Related Services, at Dorothy.McQuilken@aicpa-cima.com.
A webcast will be offered to all parties interested in learning more about the AICPA’s Audit Data API and data standardization. A link to the webcast will be provided here in the upcoming weeks.