Assistant Professor Kelvin Law's co-authored paper "How Does Artificial Intelligence Shape the Audit Industry?" recently won the Best Archival Paper Award at the 2021 Audit Midyear Meeting. The award is conferred by the American Accounting Association (AAA) and is a recognition of the paper’s high quality and contribution to auditing literature.
Many audit firms and even financial regulators are excited about the opportunities AI brings for the industry. At the same time, many accounting students and even their parents are concerned about the future of accountants. The paper seeks to find out if AI can replace auditors and whether AI can improve audit work quality.
Using a new dataset based on a million job postings, the research team examined the trend of AI jobs in the audit industry and employed various statistical techniques to understand the association between AI use in audit firms and the number of auditor jobs. They also investigated whether there would be an improvement in work quality for those audit firms that use AI technology.
“Overall, our research found that AI technology does not replace auditors. In fact, the number of auditor jobs slightly increases for those firms after the firms use AI technology. We found out that audit firms that use AI technology tend to hire auditors with stronger soft skills such as people skills and writing skills and that AI technology generally improves the work quality of auditors.”
“We are honoured and deeply humbled to receive the award. We look forward to presenting our work at the award ceremony,” said Assistant Professor Law.