The Use of AI in Auditing Practice: A Study of the Adoption at the Firm Level
This thesis explores and explains key factors influencing the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) by auditing firms through the lens of the Technology-Organisation-Environment (TOE) framework. Using the multiple-case study method, primary data was collected through semi-structured interviews with decision-makers at auditing firms; this was complemented by secondary data, such as firms’ transparency reports and media news. The data analysis identified anomalies that did not align with previous studies, revealing the specificity of the AI adoption compared to that of other forms of technology. The findings show that firms’ adoption is influenced by the affordance of AI, technological barriers to adoption, formal linkage, linking agents, firm resources and readiness, firm size and scope, the regulatory environment, industrial competition, and the client’s level of acceptance. This study contributes to the literature by providing a better understanding of AI adoption at the firm level, thus filling the gaps in the extant research, which lacks a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of auditing firms’ AI adoption. The findings refine and strengthen the TOE framework to explain how an emerging technology, AI, is adopted in auditing firms.