Digitalization in Auditing


Knowledge about information and communication technologies (ICTs) is desperately asked for in many fields of society and economy. The EU has passed the “Digital Agenda for Europe” ( as one of the seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy.

The “Digital Agenda for Europe” is paralleled by the “Agenda for new skills and jobs” which shall provide a better matching between skills and labour market needs and also bridge the gap between the worlds of education and work.

This is especially necessary for the accounting and auditing profession which is going through an enormous change. It must be taught how important problems in accounting and auditing can be solved with information technologies serving as tools.

The DIPCAT Project

This case study builds on previous case study parts. It assumes that the leading manufacturer and retailer in eco-fashion (SDG) plans to acquire another fashion company.

Because of recent fraud cases in the industry SDG wants not only to perform a normal due diligence but also insists on an audit of the target company. The management and owners did accept this. DIPCAT auditors were engaged to do the audit.

Today in most companies all real-life transactions are mirrored in digital form. Benefits of digitalized data should be exploited as much as possible to ensure a reliable and efficient audit. The issues covered include planning the audit by understanding the company and its industry, traditional file formats an the new “European Single Electronic Format – ESEF”, materiality in audit planning, journal entry testing, process mining, sentiment analysis in financial reports, text mining in documents (contracts), fraud risks for auditing and identification of red flags. As hands-on teaching of ICT skills can only be achieved if students have access to both hardware and software. Students’ laptops are used in the course (“Bring your own device!”). The software will be normal office programs that are common or specifically distributed software packages that students can install on their laptops without costs.