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The auditing profession is part of the accounting field, and traces its origins to the accounting and bookkeeping methods used in early history. In Babylonia (modern-day Iraq), accounting records were discovered that date to circa 3600 B.C. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans also kept accounts.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Luca Pacioli, a mathematician, introduced the double-entry bookkeeping technique. The Industrial Revolution introduced more complex business practices. By the 19th and 20th centuries, as government and industrial institutions grew, accurate records were needed to improve the efficiency and revenue of businesses as well as to comply with financial regulations.

The auditing profession in the United States evolved after the stock market crash in 1929. Auditors were needed to detect fraud and ensure financial accountability. The Securities and Exchange Commission was established in 1934, to set accounting standards and oversight of auditors. Starting in the 1960s, computerized auditing started being used, with the introduction of early computers by International Business Machines. Computer assisted audit tools, introduced in the 1960s to assist with the automated auditing process, have been fine-tuned in the decades since.

Today, auditors use various financial and analytical or scientific software to collect and analyze data and create reports on their audit findings. They make sure that businesses are operating in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), which was established in 2002. The SOX Act established that management and auditors are responsible for the internal control practices and operations and the quality of the financial reporting. In addition, the SOX Act has resulted in the accounting profession paying particular attention to identifying fraud during an audit.

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