The main purposes of this paper are twofold. First, the paper identifies and discusses the potential impacts of electronic commerce on auditing practices in the emerging paperless on-line transaction environment. Second, it provides two auditing process models that incorporate modern network security techniques and show how an audit can be conducted in an EC environment. A periodical auditing process model (PAPM) is proposed to demonstrate how secure electronic technologies can be used to facilitate the auditor's evidence collection and validation process for annual and semi-annual audits. We also present a continuous auditing process model (CAPM) which extends the functions of PAPM for continuous auditing. In CAPM, a real-time transaction monitoring system is used to link to firms' accounting information systems for assisting the auditor to detect abnormal activities and generate exception reports on a continuous basis. The CAPM approach intends not only to ensure integrity and effectiveness of the entire accounting system, but also to guarantee the correctness and usefulness of the constantly generated financial statements for public dissemination. The main contribution of this paper is that it illustrates a conceptual framework which shows the feasibility of continuously auditing electronic transactions in the EC environment.
Intelligent Systems in Accounting, Finance and Management, Special Issue: AI in Accounting, 9(3), 195-216