Explaining the information systems auditor role in the public sector financial audit
Axelsen, M and Green, P and Ridley, G, Explaining the information systems auditor role in the public sector financial audit, International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, 24 pp. 15-31. ISSN 1467-0895 (2017) [Refereed Article]
This paper addresses the research questions, "What is the role of the IS auditor in supporting the financial audit?" and "What key determinants affect that role?" through the development of an explanation theory for the role of the IS auditor in the public sector financial audit. Results are based on semi-structured interviews with 55 senior auditors and IS auditors. These auditors worked in ten practice offices in the Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and United Kingdom public sectors. We manually coded 23 interview transcripts and used the Leximancer tool to extend this coding to the remaining transcripts through automated text analysis. The analysis allowed the identification of relevant "common statements" representing the prominent and shared perceptions of the IS auditor role amongst these auditors. These common statements provided a basis for the development of an initial explanation theory. One new construct presented in this theory is the practice office's "IS audit emphasis", which represents the practice office's emphasis upon the relationship between the IS auditor role and the audit team. The explanation theory provides a richer description of current audit practice regarding the IS auditor's role in public sector financial audit than currently exists. Consequently, this research provides insights for those involved in the education and training of auditors by developing a foundation for a more complete understanding of the IS auditor role.
financial audit, financial IS audit, IS audit, IS audit emphasis, Leximancer, public sector