APESB Technology Survey - Forensic Accounting Services
Survey on Artificial Intelligence & Digital Technologies used in Forensic Accounting Services
Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board (APESB) has initiated a Technology project to consider the applicability of APESB’s current ethical and professional standards to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Technologies. The project aims to understand how professional accountants use AI and digital technologies and determine whether additional professional and ethical obligations or guidance are required in APESB pronouncements. APESB’s project focuses on recent and emerging technologies, such as data analytics, artificial intelligence including supervised or unsupervised machine learning, autonomous and intelligent systems, cloud services, robotic process automation, cybersecurity, blockchain and the internet of things.
The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) also has a Technology project underway working on technology-related revisions to the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) (IESBA Code) and the development of non-authoritative guidance material. The IESBA Technology Exposure Draft was issued in February 2022, closed for public comment in June 2022, and the IESBA aims to finalise the technology-related revisions to the IESBA Code by the first quarter of 2023.
It is anticipated that the APESB will adopt the final IESBA technology-related revisions in APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including Independence Standards) (APES 110), subject to APESB’s due process and factors relevant to the Australian environment. As such, APESB’s Technology project’s primary focus is on APESB’s standards other than APES 110.
APESB believed it was better to see the framework and structure of IESBA’s proposed changes to the IESBA Code before analysing the detail of any proposed changes to APESB’s individual pronouncements. The initial focus of APESB’s Technology project is to develop a paper on the impact of recent and emerging technologies on APES 215 Forensic Accounting Services (APES 215) and APES 225 Valuation Services.
We are interested in any examples or use cases of recent and emerging technology that you use, or you are aware of that are being used by accountants, in relation to forensic accounting services or activities undertaken or provided, for example, where:
- that technology has changed the way services are being offered to clients or employers;
- that technology undertakes significant aspects of the forensic accounting service;
- the use of the technology increases the complexity1 of the service provided;
- the accountant relies on the outputs from the technology; or
- the outputs of the technology form part of the expert or other evidence adduced to court.
The following survey consists of ten questions. The first question asks for details of your primary role/occupation. Questions 2 to 5 relate to different examples or use cases of which you are aware. As such, if you have only one example, please complete questions 2 to 5 for that example. If you have more than one example, please complete questions 2 to 5 for each example. Questions 6 to 10 are more general and can be answered in respect of all examples provided.
1 In the IESBA’s proposed Technology-related revisions to the Code, ‘complexity’ involves elements that are uncertain and multiple variables and assumptions, which