In light of advancements in technology, automation, and artificial intelligence, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has formed a Data Analytics Working Group to examine the organization’s emerging technologies and their possible impact on the quality of auditing services. Commissioned by IFAC’s International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), the working group monitors developments in data analytics technology and offers advice on possible new or revised international standards in auditing.

In response to the working group's request for input, IMA®’s (Institute of Management Accountants) Technology Solutions and Practices Committee (TSP) recently submitted a comment letter with recommendations to the working group, including:

  • Consider client-side as well as investor concerns in standard setting for data analytics in the audit by explaining its value beyond audit quality.
  • Leverage better practices in the application of data analytics in business by incorporating them in the audit and reflecting them in corresponding standards.
  • Address and help close the data analytics competency gap in the audit, driven in part by the subject’s absence from the university curriculum and the current auditing body of knowledge. 
  • Provide guidance on overcoming typical challenges in data analytics implementation that stem from the characteristics of data due to volume, structural and governance issues, as well as cultural challenges to an integrated end-to-end process from data acquisition, reporting, analysis, and attestation.
The TSP Committee, a diverse group of IMA members representing organizations of various sizes and industries, promotes existing and emerging technology solutions and practices – independent of specific vendors – to enable professionals and their organizations to be more effective and efficient. To learn more about IMA’s TSP Committee and to see its comment and recommendations letter to IFAC’s IAASB, please visit: