Doctoral candidate: Brigitte Burgemeestre
Research track: Information Systems
Start date: March 2008
Supervisor: Prof. dr. Yao-Hua Tan
Justifying Compliance of (accounting) information systems
Governments have the responsibility to make sure businesses are compliant with regulations in various areas such as health, safety, security, tax and customs. Typically, this control is exercised in a command-and-control fashion, where the government prescribes rules and performs all kind of administrative inspections and checks on the businesses to assess their compliance with the regulations. These controls have become an (administrative) burden for both the businesses and governments. The public sector therefore explores governance models like mandatory self-regulation, responsive regulation that built on the responsibility and participation of companies.
Information systems can play a crucial role in self-control and ensuring a company’s compliance to rules and regulations. Compliance can be achieved ‘by design’ through the setup of a coherent system of controls embedded in information systems and procedures. New technologies like web services, GPS etc. allow for new control strategies. This system-based control requires a new approach to auditing in which companies must demonstrate to the regulator that they are ‘in control’. They must determine the relevance of a regulation for their business, justify which set of control measures they have taken to comply with it, and demonstrate that the control measures are operationally effective.
My research focuses on the role of information systems in assuring compliance with participative governance strategies. More specifically I study the audit dialogue in which companies justify their compliance decisions to regulators. Extensive case studies in the tax and customs domain are used as the main research method. The research has a multi disciplinary character, because it combines and extends theories from computer/information science, accounting and auditing, law, and sociology. My topics of interest are forms of self-regulation and supervision, IT-auditing, requirements engineering, information systems design, multi-agent systems, trust, argumentation and policy design.