The external audit profession is experiencing a significant transformation due to the rapid development and adoption of technology and innovation. 

As one of the leading accounting firms in the country, RSM Australia is at the forefront of this change and is using various tools and platforms to enhance the quality, efficiency, and value of our audit services. 

By harnessing tools like data analytics, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence, we are not only enhancing the quality of our audit services but also increasing efficiency and delivering greater value to clients. enhancing audit quality and efficiency

Let's delve deeper into how these innovations are reshaping the external audit landscape for RSM Australia.

Delivering clear and interactive audit reports with data analytics and visualisation tools 

Data analytics and visualisation play a critical role in the auditing process. They enable auditors to gain deeper insights into the financial performance, risks, and trends of the entities being audited. At RSM Australia, we use a wide range of data analytics and visualisation tools to perform various audit procedures as part of our global audit methodology. 

These tools allow us to extract, reconcile, sample, test, analyse exceptions, and report on large volumes of data from various sources such as accounting systems, bank statements, invoices, receipts, contracts, and other documents. They help us quickly identify anomalies and outliers and present the results in a clear and interactive manner.     
Data analytics and visualisation tools can also help auditors to communicate our findings and recommendations to clients and stakeholders, using charts, graphs, dashboards and other visual aids.

Audit Automation, RPA and AI

Audit automation and artificial intelligence are emerging technologies that have the potential to transform the audit profession in the near future. RSM Australia is actively exploring and implementing some of these technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA), natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML). Our focus thus far has been to automate and enhance various audit tasks such as:

  • Data extractiontechnology in external audit
  • Journal entry testing
  • Risk assessment
  • Audit evidence evaluation
  • Audit report generation.

These technologies have significantly improved audit efficiency and effectiveness by reducing manual effort, increasing accuracy, and providing real-time insights. By leveraging audit automation tools, our team of auditors can redirect their focus from repetitive tasks to more strategic activities like data analysis, risk assessment, and providing valuable insights to clients.  

Additionally, audit automation can help auditors deal with the increasing complexity and volume of audit data by performing more comprehensive and sophisticated audit procedures. This includes fraud detection, anomaly detection, sentiment analysis, and predictive analysis. 

This shift towards technology-driven audit processes is reshaping the way audits are conducted and adding value to both auditors and clients alike. As we look towards the future of auditing, embracing these emerging technologies will be key to staying ahead in a rapidly evolving business landscape.  

What is Alteryx Automation? 

Alteryx Automation is a cloud-based platform that allows users to create, manage, and share automated data workflows and analytics. It combines the capabilities of Alteryx Designer, a desktop tool for data preparation and analysis, with Alteryx Server, a scalable and secure environment for deploying and running workflows. Alteryx Automation also provides a web-based interface for accessing and monitoring workflows, as well as a gallery for sharing and collaborating on analytic applications. 

How does RSM Australia use Alteryx Automation for external audit? 

RSM Australia has been using Alteryx for several months to conduct various audit procedures. These procedures include data extraction, transformation, validation, reconciliation, sampling, testing, and reporting. 

One of the challenges that external auditors face is how to unify and adapt their data analytics methods for different audit projects and groups. To overcome some of these difficulties, RSM Australia chose to use Alteryx Automation to streamline and automate our data analytics processes for external audits. 

As a result, we have begun to develop a library of reusable workflows for common audit tasks such as sampling testing, journal entry testing, stock net realizable testing, and general ledger reconciliation. These workflows are designed to be flexible and adaptable to different client situations and data sources while adhering to our audit methodology and quality control standards.

RSM also built a workflow management system that allows audit teams to easily access, run, and track workflows from the web interface, and to produce audit documentation and reports automatically. 

Leveraging cloud computing with our cloud-based audit platform audit and assurance practices

Cloud computing and collaboration are another key aspect of how technology and innovation is assisting external audit for RSM Australia. 

What is RSMOrb?

RSM uses a cloud-based audit platform called RSMOrb, which follows our Global Audit Methodology. This platform helps us manage the audit workflow from start to finish, including planning, execution, review, and reporting. 

With RSMOrb, our auditors have access to a secure and flexible environment to store and access audit files, documents, and evidence. It also helps us collaborate with clients and team members in real-time, thus improving the quality and consistency of the audit work. Cloud computing and collaboration facilitate easy sharing and reviewing of audit information, providing and receiving feedback, and tracking audit progress and status.

RSM Luca - a digital audit ecosystem

At a global level, RSM has embarked on the development of RSM Luca, our dynamic digital audit ecosystem. RSM Luca will enable us to leverage technology to deliver compelling human insights. 

By integrating advanced technologies and efficient processes, RSM Luca will help us gain a better understanding of our clients and provide forward-thinking insights. Combined with our industry expertise and knowledge, RSM Luca will enable our talented people to deliver modern, high-quality, tailored audits that bring clarity and instil confidence in a world of change.

How does RSM's audit technology add value to our clients? 

Integrating technology in external audits can provide added benefits to clients. These include:

  • Enhanced audit quality

Technology can be a powerful tool for auditors, enabling us to conduct more thorough, precise and dependable audits. By minimising the risk of human error, bias, and fraud, technology enhances the reliability, accuracy, and scope of audit evidence. Plus, technology helps auditors comply with professional standards and regulations, ensuring the quality and consistency of our audit work.

  • Improved audit efficiency

Technology can be a valuable tool for auditors to improve our efficiency and effectiveness. By automating and simplifying the audit processes, it can help save time and resources. It can also facilitate faster and more convenient data collection, analysis, and reporting. Additionally, technology can aid auditors in optimising our audit planning and execution, as well as in allocating our resources more efficiently.

  • Increased audit insights

Technology can be a great asset to auditors in providing more valuable services to our clients. By using cutting-edge tools, auditors can generate more insightful and actionable information, such as pinpointing the root causes of issues, identifying areas for improvement, and benchmarking against best practices. Additionally, technology can help auditors offer more strategic and forward-thinking advice and support our clients in making better decisions and improving their overall performance.

  • Strengthened audit relationship

Technology can be a useful tool for auditors to improve communication and collaboration with our clients. Using technology, auditors can easily share information and feedback, which ultimately leads to more transparent and timely audit results. Additionally, technology can help auditors build trust and establish a good relationship with our clients, while demonstrating our professionalism and competence.

Ultimately, technology is transforming the external audit process, by providing various tools and solutions that can improve the audit quality, efficiency, and insights. Technology enables our auditors to cope with the changing and complex business environment, and to address the emerging and evolving audit challenges and risks.

By innovating and adopting new technology, our auditors can not only meet the expectations and standards of the audit profession, but also add value and satisfaction to our clients. 


If you would like to learn more about external audits, Alteryx software or audit automation please contact your local RSM office.