IT Knowledge Requirements of an External Auditor

Simphiwe Mahlangu, Riyad Moosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The growing use of Information Technology (IT) systems in businesses necessitates the hiring of auditors who have IT knowledge and abilities. An external auditor’s competence in IT ensures that the audit is run professionally and effectively. Consequently, the objective of this study was to ascertain the current state of IT knowledge among external auditors. This study followed a quantitative descriptive research design. Data was collected using a questionnaire, and analysed using descriptive statistics. A total of 62 external auditors from three small to medium-sized audit firms completed the questionnaire. The results reported in the study show that the respondents believed that the IT proficiency of external auditors is currently low, including the identification of IT technologies (cognitive technologies, data analytics, smart digital platforms, and blockchain systems) that are growing in importance for external auditors. The results of this study are important, as they provide insight into the perspectives of external auditors with regards to their IT knowledge and skill when conducting audits. As such, a number of recommendations are provided to audit firms, regulators, and professional accounting bodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-100
Number of pages17
JournalAcademic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • audit firms
  • auditing
  • External auditor
  • Information Technology
  • skills
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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