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On assuror's independence: What are the implications for assuror independence of their overlapping roles as system developers, designers of controls, and third-party assurors?
Other factors that will affect the development of CA are the need for the infrastructure to pay for it, as well as concerns about the independence of the assurors. We suggest that what is most likely to be "continuous" is the recording of the firm's transactions, and possibly their analysis, while reporting is likely to be on demand, rather than on a continuous basis.
Assuror's independence, along with the related issue of the technical architecture of CA, is also an essential aspect of a feasible continuous assurance environment, and is examined in the fifth section.
Given this distinction, we shall also use the terms "assuror" and "assuree" as the equivalent in the broader assurance setting of the terms "auditor" and "auditee" in the financial statements context.
* Monitoring and analyzing by the assuror the transactions, processes, and records to ensure the reliability of the information.
* Communicating the outcome of the assurance engagement by the assuror.
Note, however, that the assuree is carrying out real-time information capture for its own business sake, rather than to fulfill the needs of a third-party assuror.
If the assuror's system were mirroring the company's ERP system, then it would record transactions at the same time as the company.
In other words, the most important driver of CA is the demand for it and the means by which the assuror will be reimbursed for providing it.
Viability is a function not only of supply and demand, but also of the architecture for the compensation of the assuror.
It is highly unlikely that more than one assuror will provide the CA product as it is inconceivable that the assuree will tolerate the intrusion of having yet another firm install real-time monitoring of its transactions.
Since the large fixed cost of installing a real-time CA system is mostly sunk, it becomes crucially important whether the assuror or the assuree absorbs this cost.
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