Rutgers Business School and the American Institute of CPAs announced the creation of the Rutgers AICPA Data Analytics Research Initiative, cosponsored by the AICPA and CPA Canada to further the integration of data analytics into the audit process and use research to demonstrate how this can advance the profession.

The initiative’s projects will focus on the potential for further integration of analytics into the audit process at a foundational level to enhance audit quality. The research will include testing of theory and methodology to inform the development of professional guidance on the application of audit data analytics.

“We are very pleased to be joining forces with the AICPA on this important research initiative,” stated Miklos Vasarhelyi, KPMG distinguished professor of accounting information systems and director of Rutgers Accounting Research Center and Continuous Auditing & Reporting Lab. “We have two shared goals. The first is to examine how audit objectives might be achieved more effectively by further integrating data analytics and related technologies into everyday practice. The second is active engagement by firms and universities in fundamental applied research for continuous improvement of the auditing profession.”

The initiative is also expected to encourage collaboration in other scholarly and practical research into audit data analytics, extending this learning through publications, colloquia, conferences and networking opportunities, as well as open dialogue with U.S. standards setters and regulators.

“The audit profession is leveraging technology and electronic information to expand the auditor’s ability to access and analyze vast amounts of information,” stated Susan Coffey, senior vice president for public practice and global alliances for the AICPA. “The Initiative will play an essential role in this evolution by testing the effectiveness of new approaches and techniques in a research environment. These findings will inform the development of AICPA guidance on audit data analytics, paving the way for implementation by CPA firms of all sizes.”

Licensed U.S. CPA firms are invited to contribute to and participate in the initiative, with more information available here

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