The use of Big Data in the audit profession: are the external auditors and the scientific literature on the same page?

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The use of Big Data within the audit profession is growing. According to the literature the use of Big Data within the audit profession needs to go along with some changes related to education, rules and regulations and auditors’ judgment. In this thesis, a qualitative research approach is taken to find to what extend the expectations and experiences of the external  auditors  in  the  big  four  companies,  about  the  impact  of  Big  Data  in  their  profession, are in line with the expectations of the researchers mentioned in the literature.  Overall  there  is  found  that  external  auditors  and  researchers  agree  that  the  educational program and the rules and regulations need to change in order to be able to work  with  Big  Data  within  their  profession.  Yet,  the  auditors  did  not  have  the  correct  education to work properly with Big Data. The rules and regulations should be change to give more guidance when using Big Data within an audit. Although, the auditors agreed that  the  auditors’  judgment  will  change  the  auditors  where  more  aligned  with  the  researchers who expected that Big Data would have a positive influence on their audit judgment.  Future  research  is  necessary  to  specify  the  expectations  of  the  auditor  with  regard to the changes necessary in rules and regulations and education.
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