Risk Assessment in Internal Auditing: A Neural Network Approach
Intelligent Systems in Accounting, Finance & Management
Risk assessment is a systematic process for integrating professional judgments about relevant risk factors, their relative significance and probable adverse conditions and/or events leading to identification of auditable activities (IIA, 1995, SIAS No. 9). Internal auditors utilize risk measures to allocate critical audit resources to compliance, operational, or financial activities within the organization (Colbert, 1995). In information rich environments, risk assessment involves recognizing patterns in the data, such as complex data anomalies and discrepancies, that perhaps conceal one or more error or hazard conditions (e.g. Coakley and Brown, 1996; Bedard and Biggs, 1991; Libby, 1985). This research investigates whether neural networks can help enhance auditors’ risk assessments. Neural networks, an emerging artificial intelligence technology, are a powerful non‐linear optimization and pattern recognition tool (Haykin, 1994; Bishop, 1995). Several successful, real‐world business neural network application decision aids have already been built (Burger and Traver, 1996). Neural network modeling may prove invaluable in directing internal auditor attention to those aspects of financial, operating, and compliance data most informative of high‐risk audit areas, thus enhancing audit efficiency and effectiveness. This paper defines risk in an internal auditing context, describes contemporary approaches to performing risk assessments, provides an overview of the backpropagation neural network architecture, outlines the methodology adopted for conducting this research project including a Delphi study and comparison with statistical approaches, and presents preliminary results, which indicate that internal auditors could benefit from using neural network technology for assessing risk.
John Wiley & Sons
Ramamoorti, Sridhar; Bailey, Andrew D. Jr.; and Traver, Richard O., "Risk Assessment in Internal Auditing: A Neural Network Approach" (1999). Accounting Faculty Publications. 79.