Title: Philosophical foundations of information technology audit

Authors: Eli Rohn

Addresses: Department of Information Systems Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel

Abstract: The scant handful of papers that philosophically analyse auditing principles date from the 1980s. None that we know of addressed information technology audit, a rather new interdisciplinary profession. The aim of this work is to explore the basic design principles that inquiry systems supposedly must fulfil to establish valid auditing procedures. Philosophers have shown that different inquiry approaches utilise a variety of validation ('truth guarantor') mechanisms, and as such, they are also likely to lead to different outcomes. Building on Churchman's classification of inquiry systems along the lines of five Western philosophers - Leibnitz, Locke, Kant, Hegel and Singer - this article presents each philosopher's ideas and applies them to the information technology audit profession. Accordingly, future development of audit legitimacy mechanisms is recommended, and forecasts are made. Thus, understanding the theory should lead to improved practices.

Keywords: audit philosophy; audit theory; inquiry design; cognitive planning; truth guarantor; information technology audit; auditing; Leibnitz; Locke; Kant; Hegel; Singer; audit legitimacy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAUDIT.2015.070535

International Journal of Auditing Technology, 2015 Vol.2 No.3, pp.259 - 268

Received: 05 Dec 2014
Accepted: 20 Mar 2015

Published online: 08 Jul 2015 *

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