RMIT University
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The Emergence of ADA Technologies: Investigating the Shift in Skill Sets required of Auditors due to the Automation Revolution in Audits

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posted on 2024-06-26, 22:54 authored by Mohammed Alsaif
This study investigates how auditors in Saudi Arabia use audit data analytics (ADA) technologies to collect and analyse audit evidence using cognitive heuristics. It explores the additional competencies and training required for auditors to effectively utilise evolving audit technologies. The use of ADA technologies has led to the emergence of many challenges in the auditing profession, including those related to the cognitive heuristics and skills of auditors, which, in turn, has made it increasingly difficult for them to keep pace with the changes within the audit profession. ADA technologies provide users with financial information, which contributes to improving auditors' abilities to fulfill their responsibilities related to risk detection and detection of financial fraud, as well as enhancing their analytical capabilities, which contributes to minimising errors. Verbal protocol analysis (VPA) and interviews are used to answer the research questions. Interviews were conducted with several auditors who have worked in this field for varying amounts of years. The diffusion of innovation theory (DOI) may provide a logical explanation for the use of ADA technologies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and explain the results of this study. In this research the author seeks to examine the second stage of the spread of innovation in Rogers' theory, namely the persuasion stage, which includes the five most important features of any innovation (Schleper and Busse 2013). The results obtained in this research may be useful for external auditors and bodies regulating the audit profession. In addition to providing insights into the effects of ADA technologies on the shifting skill set of auditors in addressing intricate audit issues, the study also provided groundbreaking evidence by introducing an interpretive research methodology to explore the influence of audit technology on the cognitive capabilities of auditors. Moreover, the researcher utilised the Noticing-Collecting-Thinking (NCT) method to analyse the data presented, which helped identify the distinctive attributes conveyed by the data. The results of the study capture the necessity for auditors to possess sufficient knowledge and training in the utilisation of ADA technologies, as well as an awareness of potential cognitive biases and inaccuracies due to the use of these technologies. The findings of the study thus have significant implications for external auditors, regulatory bodies, and organisations in their endeavours to improve auditors' cognitive skills and to ensure the accuracy and reliability of their findings.


Degree Type

Doctorate by Research


© Mohammed Alsaif 2023

School name

Acct, Info Sys & Supply Chain, RMIT University

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