The use of analytical procedures by external auditors in Canada

Zhenpin, Kenny LIN, Ian A. M. FRASER

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The Enron debacle and other scandals highlight the issue of whether analytical procedures (APs) or more traditional audit approaches based on substantive testing are more appropriate. This paper surveys the use of APs by Canadian external auditors and augments understanding of the impact of auditing standards on professional practice. Our results demonstrate that APs are extensively applied in practice, particularly by larger firms, and that their use dominates the final review stage of the audit regardless of firm size. While standards do not appear to be an important influence upon practice for audit firms in general, this is not the case for smaller firms. Though auditors place more reliance on APs to reduce tests of detail, there are limits to this reliance. Our results indicate that while auditors may have increased their use of APs with the expectation of efficiency gains, these may be realized at present only partially.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-168
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Analytical procedures; Auditing standards; Audit effectiveness; Audit efficiency


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