SYNOPSIS

Many accounting firms are starting to re-align their audit processes to incorporate technology and Audit Data Analytics (ADA), as the traditional procedures would seem to not be sufficiently effective and efficient to meet evolving market expectations (Byrnes et al. 2018; Forbes Insights 2017, 2018). This paper provides commentary on how data analytics knowledge should be required of the profession. We discuss the current business environment, Big Data, and the existing data analytics efforts made by businesses. Regarding the complementarity of available data analytics tools and knowledge, it proposes a guideline for the content and levels of ADA knowledge and skills of auditors serving in different roles. Finally, suggestions are provided to facilitate the adoption of ADA and provide solutions to challenges in the CPA exam, audit standards, and education. In this data-centric business environment, acquiring the knowledge and skills of data analysis should be a current professional priority.

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