Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

Developing the Role of Auditing Profession in the Light of E-Disclosure of Financial Reports in KSA Business Environment

Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

Developing the Role of Auditing Profession in the Light of E-Disclosure of Financial Reports in KSA Business Environment

Article excerpt

Introduction

Accounting and auditing are considered as a social sciences, as both of them are connected and influenced by the various surrounding environment variables, which in turn imposing these sciences the necessity of developing and adopting with them, in order to stay capable of achieving their goals in away suitable to satisfy the needs of stakeholders.

Auditing considered as one of the trusting services that began by checking the integrity of information in the financial statements, systematic and independent examination of accounts, , documents, records and vouchers of an organization, then stretched to include other types of services such as financial forecasts. Auditing service has been affected by the developments in information technology, the growth of the Internet, and e-commerce which result in the emersion of other required services from the auditing offices, such as Web Trust Services (WTS).

Indeed, Internet has imposed itself on many practices, where many big companies took the initiative in creating its own website, for publishing financial information, products, promotional information, and then a tremendous change has took a place to includes electronic publishing financial reports through companies websites.

With the tremendous development in the World Wide Web (WWW), and interposing of some professional organizations, such as American Stock Exchange (ASE) and Canadian Stock Exchange (CSA), and the issuance of some laws such as (Sarbanes Oxley) in America where all asked to disclose some of their financial information through websites, bringing the electronic publishing of financial reports to become a reality, imposing itself as logical and advance alternative to the traditional approach of publishing financial reports especially as its proved by some authors that there is a relation between the effective electronic controlling system and the quality of published financial reports (Grant, et al,2008) .

It is worth mentioning to say that electronic disclosure has clear connection with auditor responsibility, especially civil responsibility toward others. Therefore, does auditor will remain responsible with the increasing number of users of electronic published financial statements? (Khalf, 2002).

Research Problem

In spite of the enormous developments in the methods of modern information technologies, especially with regard to operational technology and disclosure of accounting information through the electronic means, the issue requires similar developments in auditing procedures to cope up with developments in the electronic environment, and also these developments have imposed on auditing profession the need to provide their best for keeping pace those developments and challenges. With the importance of this matter, many professional bodies and committees, such as the Canadian institute of certified accountants (CICA), the financial accounting standards board (FASB), and the American institute of certified public accountants (AICPA) in 2004, raised to issue some auditing guidelines and standards about the electronic environment. The international federation of accountants (IFAC) also issued the standard (ISA No.401) under the title " Auditing in a Computer Information Systems Environment". In regard to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there is lacking by relevant authorities to regulate the auditing profession in relation to the standards and guidelines for electronic disclosure, therefore, the problem of the research paper can be expressed through the following questions:

1. To what extent Saudi business environment need to regulate electronic disclosure?

2. What is the extent of awareness level by auditors in regard to their duties and responsibilities under the electronic disclosure?

3. What are the challenges that limit auditors performance under electronic disclosure?

Research Importance

The research derives its importance from two basic aspects: firstly, modernity of the issue. …

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