Improving Audit Education Using CAATT

Saturday, February 13, 2016
Eo Jin Lee, George Washington University, Washington, DC
Background: Computer Aided Audit Tools and Techniques (CAATT) support almost all audit processes concerning data extraction and analysis, but some recent studies suggest that the acceptance and use of CAATT is very low. This may be a result of educational deficiencies that result in minimal meaningful contact that students have with CAATTs during their education.  Improving the amount and quality of student interactions with CAATT technology could be significant in achieving broader acceptance of this technological change in the field. Improvement in the use of CAATT techniques could help auditors act with more variability and effectiveness.  Methods: We survey the auditing education literature and compare the approaches to educational techniques in other sciences.  In auditing, it is not always easy to find practical examples that are not too technically challenging yet remain stimulating to the student to provide a “hands-on” approach to learning auditing.  The detection of intentional misstatements can be viewed as a strategic game, and having students treat auditing as a strategic game played against each other has been successfully utilized and well received, but not yet within a CAATT environment. Results: We analyze several approaches to education that includes CAATT environments or experiences and find that there are several areas that could be improved by including successful approaches from other disciplines.  The use of student-developed CAAT scripts for detecting fraud means that the process of seeding and detecting fraudulent statements can be easily run against other students to provide a competitive ranking that can be updated daily.  Teaming can be utilized in order to reduce the overall burden on individual students.  Code and test reuse from one semester to another can reduce duplicative work and provide more educational benefit for students as examples and building blocks for better approaches.  Additionally, incentives for student participation can include non-monetary awards as “top auditor”, “top auditing team”, or “top ten auditor” which add to a student resume and which can be adjusted depending on class size and competition constraints. Conclusions: We found that auditing education including CAATT is not yet highly developed, but is extremely promising for increasing student engagement. Educational classes that included interactions like competitive games achieved a high level of satisfaction from students who indicated an improved understanding.