Educational Event Synopsis
Accountants auditing financial statements have recognised the need to involve specialists in auditing IT related controls for decades now. In the 1980s, the International Federation of Accountants’ (IFAC) recognised that accountants cannot ignore the effects that technology can have on the processing of data. This brought the introduction of the first International Standard on Auditing (ISA) on the subject, ISA 410 Auditing in a Computer Information Systems Environment, and clarifications through the International Practice Statements (IASPs) 1008 Risk Assessments and Internal Control – CIS Characteristics and Considerations. Some may argue that the profession has not kept with the technology since then in terms of auditing it and standard formulation. Others consider that since these were repealed in 2004, and the concepts integrated into the other standards, they can now be considered technology neutral and can also be applied even in today’s Blockchain, Internet of Things and Robotic Process Automations scenarios. What have started off as Computer Assisted Audit Techniques (CAATs) are now evolved into Data Analytics. Artificial Intelligence is slowly shaping the auditing processes themselves. Real-time auditing, also an old concept, is rarely applied in practice.
The session will look at the financial statement (FS) auditor’s focus in auditing the technology, the implications of the conclusions, and shortcomings in the black box approach which may still be prevalent today. The focus of an FS auditor is not security in its own right, nor business continuity. The focus is still that of forming and formally expressing an opinion on the financial statements based on an evaluation of the conclusions drawn from the audit evidence obtained (ISA 700). We shall discuss the expectations from the users with respect to IT and how the auditor addresses them. We shall also be looking at the role of Data Analytics in the auditor’s role.
Christopher Azzopardi acts as Head of IT in Audit with KPMG Malta. He leads the firm’s IT Audit specialists in supporting the financial audit process when these rely on automated controls or reporting, typically iGaming companies, Banking and Payment Service Providers. Chris holds a CPA warrant with Audit practicing certificate, having managed financial audit engagements in the past, and CISA certification.