Adopting continuous auditing: A cross-sectional comparison between China and the United States

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze the hurdles, compared with that in the United States, for the implementation of Continuous Auditing in China. As a timely, cost-saving and efficient auditing method, continuous auditing is being increasingly adopted throughout the world. However, while it is increasingly applied in the USA, continuous auditing is still in its infancy in China. Design/methodology/approach – This paper compares and contrasts China and the USA in three important dimensions that determine the “economic architecture” of assurance: the business environment, the audit profession and technology. Findings – The authors find that excessive government intervention in business, the lack of competition, independence of auditors, the support from management and the continuous auditing-specific regulations, as well as the technology gap between these two countries, are the main barriers for the implementation of continuous auditing in China. Research limitations/implications – The findings of this paper provide better understanding of the drivers of continuous auditing adoption in the USA and the barriers toward doing so in China. Practical implications – The term “continuous auditing” has never been formally introduced until the release of the draft of the Internal Control Audit Guide in 2011. Originality/value – The paper highlights how technology by itself is not deterministic, but given the extraordinary rise in the Chinese economy in both its size and its sophistication, it has be to assumed that its “leapfrog” into parity if not outright leadership in continuous assurance is still a matter of “when” and not of “if”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-204
Number of pages29
JournalManagerial Auditing Journal
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Accounting
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Keywords

  • Adoption
  • China
  • Continuous auditing
  • The USA

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