1. Examination of data is more rapid;

2. Examination of data is more accurate;

3. The only practical method of examining large amounts of data;

4. Gives the auditor practical acquaintance with live files;

5. Provides new opportunities to the auditor;

6. Overcomes in some cases a loss of audit trail;

7. Relatively cheap to use once set up costs have been incurred;


1. Can be expensive to set up or acquire.

2. Some technical knowledge is required.

3. A variety of programming languages is used in business. Standard computer audit programs may not be compatible.

4. Detailed knowledge of systems and programs is required. Some auditors would dispute the need for this detailed knowledge to be gained.

5. Difficulty in obtaining computer time especially for testing.

There can be no doubt that standard computer audit program packages will be in general use in the near future. Use of audit software raises the visibility of the auditor in the eyes of the company. It makes the audit more credible. Deficiencies in the system are often discovered and can be reported to management. This also makes the audit more credible. Packages are not however usually available for small machines.