The "Big 6" public accounting firms have invested considerable resources in the development of expert system (ES) for a variety of auditing tasks. However, the tasks for most existing auditing ESs appear to have been selected based on accessibility and cooperation of experts, and/or the judgmental evaluation of the developer, rather than a careful selection of the task from among a number of viable alternatives. A critical aspect of task suitability is the degree to which the characteristics of a candidate task match the capabilities of ES technology. In this study, a questionnaire was developed to obtain task-related information from practicing auditors in order to distinguish among candidate auditing tasks in terms of their suitability for ES development. Auditors in the "Big 6" public accounting firms were asked to provide ratings of the knowledge, data, and task characteristics of nine judgmental auditing tasks. The analysis of the data obtained from fifty-nine auditors revealed that the nine tasks were distinguishable in terms of their suitability for ES application. Two tasks, determining compliance with generally accepted accounting principles and audit work program development, were relatively better suited for ES application, while determination of the adequacy of an allowance and going concern evaluation were the tasks least suited for ES application. The fact that actual ES development efforts in the "Big 6" firms have emphasized the compliance and audit work program development tasks provides a degree of validation of our results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Artificial Intelligence