The role of enterprise resource planning systems in continuous auditing of a selected organization in the Western Cape, South Africa
The thesis aimed at exploring the role Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems play in an organization’s continuous auditing practices. Continuous auditing encourages innovation and improves the practice of traditional auditing through the use of automation and computerisation. Auditing specialists and researchers have begun to adopt a technology driven process as an approach to back up real time assurance. The rationale of the study is drawn from previous research where the findings argue that organizations employ the use of ERP systems because it enables seamless access to information and automation, which makes monitoring of controls easier. The study used Structuration Theory (ST) as the underpinning theory and drew on the concept of duality of technology (i.e., Enactment of Technology-in-Practice) as a lens to comprehend and deduced the social phenomenon of continuous auditing using ERP system. This research study investigated this social phenomenon and how it had influenced performance auditing of an organization. The study applied interpretivism as a research paradigm and as such adopted a qualitative approach where semi-structured interviews were used to tease out the research objectives and questions. The outcome of the research validated a conceptual framework which has led to a proposed general framework for practicing continuous auditing using ERP system. All interviews data collected and accurately captured with informed consent were subject to the approval of the selected organization. This was not to violate the organization’s privacy and confidentiality policies. It did not reveal any information that could potentially adversely affect the reputation of the organization or reveal private information to its competitors.