Process Mining in Auditing: From Current Limitations to Future Challenges

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In the first book on process mining, Wil van de Aalst densely defines the goal of process mining “to use event data to extract process-related information”, like automatically discovering a process model by observing events that are recorded by some information system. This definition is broad, since it addresses the mining of all processes that are supported by an information system, revealing the wide range of possible applications of process mining. With the growing of the digital universe, the recording of events reaches new heights all the time. Given this omnipresence of recorded events and hence the large amount of possibilities to apply process mining, a well-defined focus on an application field is essential. Auditing is such a field. The auditor functions as an independent examiner of financial statements to give reasonable assurance on the accuracy of these statements. That way, the auditor provides ‘trust’ to shareholders and other third parties related to the audited organization. This trust is a crucial element of the economic system.