Audit of the Future - An Analyis of the Impact of XBRL on Audit and Assurance
The eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) has been developed as a standard for business reporting on the Internet. As such it will impact the audit profession that provides assurance over financial information, an issue that has not yet received enough attention. Therefore, the overall research purpose of this study is to describe the effects that the use of XBRL has on audit and assurance services by analyzing the implications on services to the public and the way assurance providers conduct their work in providing those services. The study looks at effects of both Internet reporting and continuous assurance, which are inextricably interwoven through their technological basis. Representatives of the audit profession and other groups affected by assurance services, e.g. users and government agencies, are interviewed using a semi-structured interview technique. Interview transcripts are used to compare the answers of the audit profession with those of the other interviewees in order to draw conclusions about what the impact of XBRL will be. The results indicate that XBRL adoption will not significantly change audit and assurance services to the public in the medium-term. However, it will have decisive impacts on the work tasks that assurance providers have to execute in providing services.
Göteborg University. School of Business, Economics and Law