Shaping the future of the auditing profession in Sweden: a study of the expected role of digitalization
Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Digitalization is a fast paced phenomenon that is recognised to be of importance for the auditing profession’s future. This study has, through an innovative approach, gathered the ideas and perspectives on the perceived future role of digitalization in relation to the auditing profession. In order to ensure that these ideas and perspectives were to be practically relevant, 14 Swedish auditors were interviewed. This study was initiated through an evident need of research about the future role of digitalization, as this role is recognized as important but rather under-theorized according to both practitioners and academics.
In order to tackle the need for research within the relatively unexplored area of digitalization in relation to the auditing profession, a dialogue with practitioners led to the creation of the following research question:
-How do auditors expect digitalization to shape the future of the auditing profession?
In order to accurately answer the constructed research question, three sub-questions were established:
- How do auditors perceive past and current changes of the auditing profession?
- How do auditors perceive futures changes of the auditing profession?
- How do auditors perceive the future role of digitalization?
The underlying purpose of this study was to push for a unification between the academic and practice community. To achieve this, a follow-up sub-question was generated:
- How do auditors perceive the role of academic research to shape the future of the auditing profession?
And inductive research approach was adopted for this study, in line with the epistemological standpoint of interpretivism and a constructionism ontological approach. Furthermore, this thesis was a conducted qualitative exploratory research that employed semi-structured interviews. The research strategy of this study was a combination of narrative inquiry with grounded theory in order to collect data and to generate theories for building knowledge.
The results from the interviews with the auditors generated findings that were used to answer our four sub-questions, and therefore subsequently our main research question. It was concluded that academic research was not directly used by practitioners, since it was not found usable from a practical perspective. Furthermore, it was concluded through applying change theories that digitalization is, by auditors, expected to play an important role in the future of their profession and a list of driving forces was established. Moreover, discussions on how the auditing profession and digitalization will interact in the future are disclosed in this study.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 107 p.
Digitalization, Auditing Profession, Change, Academic research, Exploratory, Innovative, Future, Auditors, Practitioners, Digitization, Social Media
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-122512OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-122512DiVA: diva2:939402
International Business Program