Enhancing audit quality with a Digital Audit

Well-designed digital platforms foster new levels of audit quality by fusing progressive technologies such as data analytics and artificial intelligence directly into the audit engagement workflow.

This way, the right technologies are delivered at the right point in the engagement and auditor learning curves are reduced. Auditors are better prepared to apply these technologies in ways that enhance the quality of their work.

This can be applied in numerous areas throughout the audit:

  • Risk assessment. By making the exchange of information between the client and the audit team seamless, less of the auditor’s time and effort is spent simply obtaining the client’s initial explanations. The auditor works directly with the data – drilling down to efficiently identify unusual items and craft well-informed questions. This frees auditors to spend their time thinking critically and challenging client assertions – an essential characteristic of any high-quality audit.
  • Designing responses to risk. Higher quality and more effective risk assessment techniques will in turn enable more focused and effective responses, allowing auditors to key in on specifically identified risks rather than simply completing standardised work programs.
  • Substantive testing procedures. Traditional testing can be replaced with superior techniques or automated. This includes highly efficient whole-population testing, as well as analysis of populations allowing auditors to identify and focus on unusual or higher risk items.

Three Digital Audit Quality Examples

Additional attributes of digital audit platforms which enhance quality and save time:

  • Workpapers are auto-created, savings hours of manual time and elevating the quality of the documentation.
  • Interdependencies are mapped so that teams decide once, and all related areas are appropriately updated.
  • Safeguards are put in place to ensure compliance with fixed requirements of standards.

Empowering the Auditor

By making the exchange of information between the client and the audit team seamless, less of the auditor’s time and effort is spent simply obtaining the client’s initial explanations. This frees auditors to then spend their time thinking critically and challenging client assertions – an essential characteristic of any high-quality audit.

In addition to being empowered, digital auditors are energised by the work they do.

By being data-driven and genuinely enabling the use of new technologies, the tools and solutions that make up a digital audit generate a new level of excitement from audit staff.

Automation technologies are applied to instantly create standardised workpapers, and augmented intelligence is used to perform initial analyses of data.

With the routine, administrative, and mechanical aspects of the audit becoming automated, staff no longer need to spend their early careers performing tedious manual tasks. Instead, they are empowered to think critically and move more quickly into higher-value activities.

Staff are challenged to think differently and are finally able to break free from a same as last year checklist mentality to the audit, changing the perception of what it means to be an audit professional.

Why not take those first steps…

If you are looking to gain competitive advantage and attract clients by adopting new technologies which allow your firm to provide clients with better service and greater value, look no further than our downloadable Digital Audit Guide.

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This guide is a must-have for any firm expecting to remain competitive and relevant in the accounting profession. We’ll walk you through a new way of thinking about the value of the audit and a new way of conducting the audit, putting you on a path to true digital transformation.