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Objective

Assess whether there is a need for guidance, changes to PCAOB standards, or other regulatory actions in light of the increased use of technology-based tools by auditors and preparers. This includes evaluating the role technology innovation plays in driving audit quality. Research from this project may give rise to individual standard-setting projects and may also inform the scope or nature of other projects that are included on the standard-setting agenda.

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Background

Advancements in technology are affecting the nature, timing, preparation, and use of financial information. Auditors are expanding their use of technology-based tools, including data analytics, to plan and perform audits. The increased use of these technology-based tools could affect areas such as:

  • The auditor's risk assessment and response to identified risks of material misstatement;
  • The nature and extent of information available to auditors and preparers; and
  • Audit firms' quality control systems.

Staff analysis will take into account observations from the Board's oversight activities, changes to audit firms' methodologies, academic research, information from investors and other stakeholders, and the activities of others, including other standard setters and regulators. The staff's considerations have also been informed by the PCAOB Data and Technology Task Force, whose members provide the staff with additional insights into the use of technology-based tools by auditors and preparers.

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Status

The staff continues to conduct research and engage in outreach activities on how technology-based tools are being used by auditors and preparers and whether there is a need for guidance, changes to PCAOB standards, or other regulatory actions.