Assess whether there is a need for guidance or changes to AS 1105, Audit Evidence, given the increasing prevalence of technology-based tools and the increasing availability and use of information from sources external to the company, both in the financial reporting process and as audit evidence.
AS 1105 explains what constitutes audit evidence and establishes requirements regarding designing and performing audit procedures to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence. Advancements in technology and expanded use of data from external sources are affecting the nature, timing, preparation, and use of financial information and, in turn, the nature and extent of information available to auditors. Specifically:
- Emerging technologies used in generating financial information could affect how auditors assess the accuracy, completeness, relevance and reliability of audit evidence.
- Auditors are expanding their use of technology-based tools, including data analytics, to plan and perform audits.
- The increasing availability and use of information obtained from sources external to the company has the potential to result in diversity in practice with respect to how auditors evaluate the relevance and reliability of that information.
Staff considerations include: observations from the Board's oversight activities, changes to audit firms' methodologies, academic research, outreach with stakeholders, and the requirements of other standard setters and regulators. In addition, the staff's activities are informed by the Board's Data and Technology Task Force, whose members provide to the staff insights into the use of data analytics and emerging technologies by auditors and preparers.
Staff guidance, Evaluating Relevance and Reliability of Audit Evidence Obtained From External Sources, has been issued to assist auditors in applying the requirements in AS 1105 when using information obtained from external sources as audit evidence. The staff continues to conduct research activities on other matters that may affect obtaining and evaluating audit evidence.