This study responds to an increasing need for research on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in external auditing, especially concerning auditors' roles in an RPA-enabled audit workflow. Since more than half of the audit tasks require certain levels of auditors' judgment and cannot be fully automated (Abdolmohammadi 1999), audit automation should include attended automation, in which auditors work alongside and interact with automation routines. This paper adopts the Design Science Research (DSR) approach and proposes an Attended Process Automation (APA) framework that guides the implementation of attended automation in audits. This paper also demonstrates the APA framework by applying it to the planning process for single audits, a government-required external audit for beneficiaries of funding. The APA framework emphasizes auditors' vital role in an automated audit workflow in providing professional judgments currently irreplaceable by automation.

JEL Classifications: M420; O310.

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