As technology fundamentally changes the nature of the audit, how can auditors use technology to enhance the way they analyse information?
Our future is characterised by unparalleled organisational and informational complexity, with corporate and business reporting evolving rapidly. If the audit is to keep pace with these changes, we should ask ourselves the question: What will the future look like and will our audit teams have the requisite skills to deliver this proposition?
There are two options to consider. Firstly, to continue with the status quo whereby audits are basically a control function for corporate businesses. And second, to be more progressive and drive change by developing a more insightful audit for this increasingly complex environment and, in doing so, win back trust and be regarded as custodians of the public interest.
If we agree that the process needs to develop, then technological advances are a game changer. The use of big data and analytics are enablers for auditors to assess ever-increasing volumes of data, thereby allowing them to better identify financial reporting, fraud and operational business risks and ultimately deliver a more relevant audit.
Technology also affords us the opportunity to deliver increasingly comprehensive testing with improved focus and audit quality. These new capabilities signal significant change for our profession, but also a wealth of opportunity. We can enhance our service offering by providing insights that are data-driven to support decision-making, and implement systems that are increasingly streamlined, agile and easy to tap into.
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