The trend of smaller businesses is on a rise for using more continuous auditing technologies. Continuous auditing technology is a way for small businesses to improve their continuous auditing efforts with the purchase of packaged software audit systems. The boom in technology in the past few decades has enabled users to customize anything they’d like. With using continuous auditing technologies, users can now create detailed transaction analysis and comparison reports with many filters to sort or find user-specific data and easier test controls.
Small and large companies use continuous auditing technologies in different ways; larger companies may use them to make the business more transparent and improve implemented internal auditing processes, while smaller companies use them more for improvement of management information systems and data problems.
Continuous Auditing Technology is a form of IT innovation and has many direct and indirect benefits. It is often customizable in many ways, helping businesses with data analysis and risk management. Businesses can attain real-time analysis of financial reports by setting up automated processes. These automated processes can help increase preventive controls in a business, which, in term, should result in a decrease in corrective controls.
With Continuous auditing technologies, monthly reconciliations can be achieved in a shorter period, which can decrease audit cycle time and costs. Internal and external auditors may have a clearer picture of the entire audit with the use of customization of formatting of the programs, and the extra IT help that comes along with not relying on only select data for financial reports. The auditor can review all transactions and processes, and can be provided with more accurate and detailed documentation.
Continuous auditing technology does play a large role in IT functions. It is a good idea for the auditors to work with IT to build objectives and ensure that all users gain an understanding of the technology and implementing it. This does put more responsibility on IT, and IT may be tested or audited more thoroughly while and audit is being performed to ensure the controls within the program are being used correctly. But that is not a bad thing! It is good to have not all of the audit controls put on only a few people.
Continuous auditing is different than continuous monitoring. Continuous monitoring is a different process run by management in a business, to confirm that its policies, procedures, and processes are operating effectively. Continuous monitoring is also a very valuable role in businesses, it is important to see that all functions in a business, including auditing and technology specifically, are running properly.