ABSTRACT: In the almost twenty years since Vasarhelyi and Halper (1991) reported on their pioneering implementation of what has come to be known as Continuous Auditing (CA), the concept has increasingly moved from theory into practice. A 2006 survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that half of all responding firms use some sort of CA techniques, and the majority of the rest plan to do so in the near future. CA not only has an increasing impact on auditing practice, but is also one of the rare instances in which such a significant change was led by the researchers. In this paper we survey the state of CA after two decades of research into continuous auditing theory and practice, and draw out the lessons learned by us in recent pilot CA projects at two major firms, to examine where this unique partnership between academics and auditors will take CA in the future.

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