A Framework for Using Robotic Process Automation for Audit Tasks

51 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2020

See all articles by Marc Eulerich

Marc Eulerich

University of Duisburg-Essen, Mercator School of Management

Justin Pawlowski

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Nathan Waddoups

University of Denver

David A. Wood

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy

Date Written: July 17, 2020

Abstract

Technology improvements, especially the ability to automate tasks and processes, are having a large impact on business and auditing. One technology that is receiving significant attention in accounting is robotic process automation (RPA)—or the development of bots. We evaluated six bots designed to perform audit tasks within a large, multinational company and found that three of the bots successfully improved audit performance, whereas three other bots were started but not successfully implemented due to different limitations in meeting their objectives. Using a design science methodology, we then developed and validated a three-step evaluation framework to assist auditors as they make critical decisions regarding appropriate prioritization of RPA activities. We validated this framework using interviews, surveys of experienced internal and external auditors, and two case studies. The framework was deemed helpful in prioritizing bot production for both internal and external auditors.

Keywords: Robotic process automation, RPA, bots, design science, bot-evaluation framework, automation, digital labor, digital auditing

JEL Classification: m40, m41, m42, m49

Suggested Citation

Eulerich, Marc and Pawlowski, Justin and Waddoups, Nathan and Wood, David A., A Framework for Using Robotic Process Automation for Audit Tasks (July 17, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3651028 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3651028

Marc Eulerich

University of Duisburg-Essen, Mercator School of Management ( email )

Lotharstrasse 65
Duisburg, 47057
Germany
00492033792600 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.msm.uni-due.de/ircg

Justin Pawlowski

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Nathan Waddoups

University of Denver ( email )

2101 South University
Boulevard, Suite 355
Denver, CO 80208-8921
United States

David A. Wood (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy ( email )

518 TNRB
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
United States
801-422-8642 (Phone)
801-422-0621 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://marriottschool.byu.edu/employee/employee.cfm?emp=daw44

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