A framework for auditor data literacy: A normative position

Deniz Appelbaum, D. Scott Showalter, Ting Sun, Miklos A. Vasarhelyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-25
Number of pages21
JournalAccounting Horizons
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Accounting education
  • Audit data analytics
  • CPA exam
  • Data analytic techniques
  • Knowledge
  • Skill


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