Audit software is a type of computer program that performs a wide range of audit management functions. Some of the most common functions are database sampling, and the generation of confirmation letters for clients and vendors. The main purpose of such software is to highlight exceptions of data and inform auditors of probable errors. Although the degree of difficulty or simplicity varies, audit software typically features a non-procedural computer language that allows the auditor to manage data without the need for complex programming.
While audit software is traditionally used to perform basic calculating functions, it can also be used to handle more complex auditing tasks. One such task is testing. There is software on the market capable of auditing large sets of data, which an auditor can use to analyze data in such a way that internal controls may be streamlined or enhanced. Another task that can be done with audit software is exception testing, which is often considered to be one of the key aspects of controls evaluation. These factors could make this software a valuable asset for companies with the need to process large amounts of data on a daily basis.
Similar to general accounting software, audit software is commonly used to help analyze and test accounting records. The objectives, however, vary depending on the program. For example, some applications are designed to document audits, prepare audit reports, and print exception reports. Others are designed to gather evidence, conduct analytical tests, and evaluate internal control. There are also more robust programs that combine the aforementioned capabilities into a single package.
There are numerous audit software programs on the market. ACL Audit Exchange is one of the most well known products. TopCAATs, an application that runs within Excel®, is also on the market. As more users come to discover the benefits of automated auditing, more products are being introduced. Many of these solutions are designed to support a variety of operating systems, including Windows®, Mac OS X®, and Linux among others.
Audit software is growing in popularity among businesses in various industries. One reason may be that it can be used to analyze and audit data in standard text files, as well as Access® databases and Excel® workbooks. In regard to the latter application, many of these users find that they are able to be more productive because they can audit using familiar Excel® templates. Advancements in information technology have made performing audit management functions, from a computer, more feasible than ever before.