The Association between Information Technology Investments and Audit Risk
24 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2018
Date Written: 2016
Advances in information technology (IT) have changed the way that companies conduct business, prepare their financial statements, and have their financial statements audited. On one hand, IT decreases audit risk by improving operation and internal control effectiveness, which may decrease inherent and internal control risk. On the other hand, the complexity of IT introduces unconventional risks for companies and their auditors, especially by creating challenges for auditors when auditing the effectiveness of internal controls and detecting accounting irregularities. Thus, the relationship between clients’ IT investments and audit risk deserves research attention. Using IT data of U.S. firms from 2000 to 2009, we find that IT investments are positively related to audit fees (and abnormal audit fees), the probability of auditors’ issuance of a going-concern opinion, and the likelihood of auditors’ Type II errors. Furthermore, we find that auditor tenure moderates the relationship between IT investments and audit fees due to the learning effect.
Keywords: information technology investments, audit risk, audit fees, auditor tenure
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation