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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Feasibility study of computer-based auditing : an empirical approach Wu, Peter King Sai

Abstract

The changing accounting environment and the innovation of computer technology have altered audit techniques. Currently, more than thirty packages are used by auditors. In view of the similarities, the "Audit Command Language" (ACL), aimed at combining and extending the features of present packages, was developed. The M.B.A. thesis research presented here focuses on a feasibility study of auditing with audit package systems and on the implications for ACL. An empirical approach was used and sets of questionnaires were distributed to three hundred and one firms of various sizes and industries throughout Canada and the United States of America. The thesis presents a discussion of the costs that should be considered and the benefits that could be gained from the use of audit packages (AP's). Other benefits are discussed as well. It can be concluded from the study that there are many advantages in the adoption of the systems. AP's are more efficient than other techniques in auditing EDP records. It is desirable and feasible to develop ACL provided that the actual cost of developing and implementing it does not exceed the expected benefits and returns. The optimum cost of ACL cannot be determined here because the average cost of developing a similar package cannot be determined from this study due to insufficient data. Finally, some practical problems may be encountered. Nonetheless, these are solvable in one way or another. In conclusion, it should be feasible to develop ACL as the professional audit command language of the future.

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