Resources for using audit data analytics

This is your source for tools and resources to promote awareness, understanding and effective implementation of data analytics in audit.

Audit data analytics (ADAs) is one of the many areas in which Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) supports its members. The term refers to the use of data analytics in the audit of financial statements.

ADAs are audit procedures used to discover and analyze patterns, identify anomalies, and obtain other useful information from data populations relevant to the audit. Because of the power of advanced analytical tools, auditors using ADAs are able to perform procedures that may, in some cases, cover 100 per cent of the items in large data populations.

Organizations and their auditors are facing what The Economist called "a third great wave of invention and economic disruption set off by advances in computing and information and communications technology" in an October 2014 article. Large and diverse amounts of data are being used by organizations of all types and sizes to improve their strategic, financial and operational decision-making.

In response to this changing environment, increased use of ADAs is important in maintaining the relevance and quality of the financial statement audit and in helping to improve its effectiveness and efficiency.

CPA Canada is committed to supporting its members through tools and resources to promote awareness, understanding and effective implementation of data analytics, through:

  • CPA Canada alerts, tools, and other resources – various publications that promote awareness and effective implementation
  • CPA Canada Guide to Audit Data Analytics – a non-authoritative guide that was collaboratively produced with the AICPA and adapted for Canadian standards. This guide provides an introduction and overview of data analytic techniques to assist financial statement auditors in applying such techniques in performing their audit engagements.