Information technology (IT) use can directly impact audit judgment and ultimately audit effectiveness and efficiency. Although IT has significantly changed the audit process, few studies have examined the perceived importance of IT use across a diverse group of audit firms. Our descriptive study explores audit IT use and its perceived importance across several audit applications. To address regulator concerns about barriers to entry in public accounting and to advance auditing research, we examine whether audit IT use and perceived importance of IT varies by firm size. A field‐based questionnaire was used to collect data from 181 auditors representing Big 4, national, regional, and local firms. Our results indicate that auditors extensively use a variety of audit applications including analytical procedures, audit report writing, electronic work papers, Internet search tools, and sampling. Auditors perceive several applications as important (e.g., fraud review), but use them infrequently. In addition, IT specialists use is infrequent, even by auditors who examine clients with complex IT. Finally, findings suggest that audit IT use and perceived importance vary by firm size. These results describe audit IT use, but do not allow us to infer causality.

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