Audit technology is evolving quickly, and your firm can get left behind before you know it. Here we’ll cover the latest tech and identify easy steps you can take today to help future-proof your firm.
Audit technology is a hot topic and continues to change the way firms work. Over the last couple of decades, this digitalisation of the audit profession has come in waves. Think back to when basic automation, like Intuit’s QuickBooks, was revolutionary. Then Confirmation came along, modernising the audit landscape with digital confirmations. Then the cloud. And now AI, robotics, and blockchain are all the buzz. And the waves will just keep rolling in.
There’s always something new in each wave that’s going to “change the way we work.” But how’s an audit firm to keep up? Actually, the more commonly asked question is: How does a firm even get started?
The latest audit tech
Before we answer that, let’s take a look at the latest tech. Artificial Intelligence, advanced data analytics, and blockchain (sometimes referred to as “distributed ledger technology”) are three key technologies that we at Confirmation see driving change at audit firms. For example, the IRIS Ai Auditor applies machine learning and other AI techniques to help auditors identify data anomalies and risky transactions within a company’s financial data. This is currently being used at several large UK firms. In another case, at one of the Big Four firms, a pilot project with blockchain is helping audit teams gather an organisation’s entire transaction data from multiple blockchain ledgers. Auditors can then interrogate the data and perform transaction analysis, reconciling and identifying any outliers.
Why tech should matter to your firm
At Confirmation, we hear from firms in the UK and all over the world that they are interested in technology for three main purposes: gaining operational efficiencies, utilising the power of data, and future-proofing a firm. To what end? Enhancing the customer experience. That’s what it all comes down to.
You may think, “Do I really need to invest in more technology? I can live with how my firm operates now.” Perhaps the most important reason to invest is that your competitors are too. In an increasingly digital world, you can’t risk getting left behind and losing clients to firms that use technology to provide a superior customer experience.
It’s also important to consider the impact of attracting the best talent. Today’s graduates are digital natives and are drawn to firms that have a good grasp and utilisation of technology.
What you can do today
Whilst this is all fascinating; it’s a lot to take in. Of course, not all firms have the budget (or even the desire) to overhaul their tech stack, but there are small changes that can drive big value at any firm.
Start by developing a digital philosophy. That philosophy can be based off an assessment of where you are today, and where you want to be in the future. Think about the things technology can help with, like automating routine tasks, reducing human error, enhancing security, increasing global access and communication, and more. Assign a person or team at your firm with identifying and advocating for new technologies.
If that still sounds a bit daunting, pick just one common process at your firm, like audit confirmations, and document that process. Can you identify an area where tech can help make it better? In the case of audit confirmations, a digital platform like Confirmation streamlines the process and makes it more secure at the same time. Confirmation is easy to use and integrates with your current tech suite. It’s a simple way to get started in the world of modern audit technology.
Also, if you’re not already, consider other easy digitalisation wins, such as frequently posting on social media channels like LinkedIn, using a digital prospecting tool for new business and recruiting staff online with a dedicated platform.
Know that you don’t have to do everything at once. Just think broadly about innovation and maintain an open-minded approach. You’ll find yourself in a good spot to gain operational efficiencies, utilise the power of data and future-proof your firm.
Confirmation is the digital platform and global network trusted by 200,000 auditors to confirm financial data at more than 4,000 financial institutions around the world. Here’s what you need to know:
Fast: Get confirmation responses quickly, usually within a day or two
Secure: Confirmation’s platform is up to major industry standards
Connected: Our platform integrates with your existing tech suite
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