Improving Firm Performance Through a Mobile Auditing Assistance System

Improving Firm Performance Through a Mobile Auditing Assistance System

Wen-Lung Shiau (Department of Information Management, Ming Chuan University, Taoyuan, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/ijeis.2014100102

Abstract

Generalized Audit Software (GAS) is often used in the current business environment. Despite the advent of mature mobile technology, designs for effective mobile information technology to support auditing tasks have not been developed. The purpose of this study is to develop a mobile auditing assistance system to support auditing tasks in an organization. A mobile auditing assistance system is implemented with five functions: auditing tasks, optimal path planning, searching assets location, scanning assets, and returning auditing tasks. Based on a cost and benefits analysis, a mobile auditing assistance system can reduce costs, increase benefits, and improve firm productivity and performance. Firms can use this approach to design their own mobile auditing assistance system. This allows auditors to perform auditing tasks independently on a real time basis and achieve the objectives of a mobile auditing assistance system.
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Introduction

In a competitive business environment, managers are constantly challenged to improve the productivity and performance of their companies. To meet the challenges of uncertain environments, audit standards suggest that auditors adopt information technology (IT) to assist auditing tasks (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 2001; 2006). IT can help improve audit efficiency by recalculating the information provided by audit clients and increasing audit effectiveness by allowing auditors to directly inspect the evidence stored in electronic forms (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 2006). In recent years, firms have used generalized audit softwares (GAS) to assist with their auditing tasks. Many studies have discussed new information system control, new auditing techniques, and generalized audit softwares (GAS) to help auditors improve firm effectiveness (Brazel, 2005; Chan and Vasarhelyi, 2011; Debreceny et al., 2005a; Shaik, 2005).

With the advent of mobile technology, increasing numbers of companies have become convinced of the importance of understanding this technology (Gebauer et al., 2010; Jaime, 2009). It has become especially important for companies to realize the characteristics and advantages of mobile technology, which is the most effective medium to gather, disseminate, and use information about users and customers. The benefits of mobile technology allow users to connect to the office network while working off-site (Gebauer and Ginsburg, 2009; Perry et al., 2001). For example, users can access their databases or accounting systems to create, update, delete, search, and check information they require or want. Working off-site leads to greater flexibility for working and improves performance (Gebauer and Shaw, 2004). With the benefits of mobile technology, it is time for firms to include mobile technology in their auditing tasks. In auditing tasks, numerous firms face significant challenges in tracking the location, quantity, condition, and maintenance and depreciation status of their fixed assets. This study considers an Internet Service Provider (ABC) with huge assets that must be audited. ABC has seven branches and service centers with many types of equipment to connect to its customers, including computers, routers, channel service unit and data service unit (CSU/DSU) equipment, switches, and other devices. The asset numbers of all devices are included in an asset management system. ABC conducts biannual and annual auditing. Managers assign auditing tasks to auditors. Auditors receive a list of assets and move to asset locations, such as branches. Auditors cannot always find assets directly or in a timely fashion. If this situation occurs, an asset keeper at each branch must help auditors find all the assets on the list. With this auditing approach, ABC prints numerous assets lists, and requires a large amount of human resources and time to complete the asset auditing procedure. Using advanced mobile technology, ABC has considered developing a mobile auditing assistance system to improve productivity and performance in asset auditing.

This paper designs a viable mobile auditing assistance system by reducing tangible and intangible costs and increasing tangible and intangible benefits. The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. Section 2 describes IT auditing and mobile technology. Section 3 presents the proposed mobile auditing assistance system. Section 4 describes system validation and analysis of costs and benefits for the real case presented in this paper. Finally, Section 5 presents the conclusion and suggestions of the study.

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