The paperless audit was adopted some time ago. And yet a significant amount of paper is still involved in the process. But now a new, more significant change is happening – the move to a digital audit. Plus, audit as it stands today presents a picture of where a company was and not as it is.
Auditing and accounting AI software solution Inflo has been working with accounting firms across the world including Australia for the past three years to completely transform the way audits are performed. Inflo provides a cloud-based platform leveraging emerging technologies to provide a suite of collaboration, data analytics and working paper solutions, enhanced by the latest in artificial intelligence (AI).
Here, Inflo’s chief customer officer Olwyn Connolly shares how firms can move to a fully digital audit approach.
Q: What is a digital audit and what are the challenges and opportunities around digital auditing?
OC: The move to digital audit is a step change in how an audit is performed and what it represents. It’s a move from an analogue way of working to a digital way of working. Digital audit is data-driven and uses AI to augment the humans who perform the audits. AI enables humans to focus on work that requires a higher level of cognitive ability and lets them deliver higher value to the client.
The challenges associated with digital audit are practical ones around skills and education. It represents a different way of auditing which is much more cognitive and requires auditors to think on their feet and be more comfortable with technology and data.
Q: How are new technologies such as Inflo, new market demands and new methodologies changing how auditors approach their work?
OC: Methodologies haven’t been updated in a long time. A digital audit is iterative and agile and it is informed by the data. It also responds to changing client needs over time. Another tangible benefit is the output of digital audit. It moves reporting to being something dynamic and visual and provides clients with dashboards and benchmarking that traditional auditing simply can’t do.
It becomes real-time information.
Q: How can Inflo help the auditing process become more reliable and transparent, driving efficiency and quality?
OC: Too much time is spent by auditors on low-value activities. The data-driven approach enables the auditor to focus their time on the true risk in the business and where their time will add value. Digital audit automates low-value activities and lets the well-educated auditors focus on the key areas where they can add value.
Q: How can firms make steps towards a truly digital approach?
OC: The ultimate focus of a digital approach is around data and data analytics. That is where firms should put their attention first. It’s also important to obtain data that is consistent in approach and format, and then think about specific manual processes that could be automated. Once you’ve made progression on the consistency of data, you can take the leap and adopt a fully digital audit approach.
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Navigating Digital Audit
Inflo is hosting an exclusive CA ANZ Member webinar on 6 May. Register to hear expert insights into the digital audit process, and how it can drive the value of your people, firm and client relationships.Register Now