The progressive computerization of business processes and widespread availability of computer networking make it possible to dramatically increase the frequency of periodic audits by redesigning the auditing architecture around Continuous Online Auditing (COA). Continuous auditing is viewed here as a type of auditing that produces audit results simultaneously with, or a short period of time after, the occurrence of relevant events. It is arguable that continuous auditing can be implemented only as an online system, i.e., a system that is permanently connected through computer networking to both auditees and auditors. This article proposes a research agenda for the emerging field of COA. First, the history, institutional background, feasibility of and some experiences in COA are briefly reviewed. Thereafter, a number of research issues relating to the architecture of COA, factors affecting the use of COA, and the major consequences of COA are presented. Finally, a selected number of research issues are highlighted as priorities for future research in COA.

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