People are only as good as the tools they possess. So, to consistently deliver high-quality auditing services, we are always investing in innovative auditing methods and tools. We keep our ear to the ground so we can closely follow the latest developments and share them throughout our network.
The future of audit will look very different from today. There will be greater reliance on audit robots with an intense focus on fraud detection and prevention to help foster a culture of compliance. The courts and government are complaining that audit is failing to detect major fraud and the auditing profession can no longer hide behind the outdated mantra: “The auditor is a watchdog, not a bloodhound”.
The audit process will move from the current approach of two or three site visits by audit teams to a continuous audit approach with audit firms embedding audit sentinels into business information systems.
The sentinels won’t sleep and will be programmed to constantly identify transaction anomalies that may be in breach of policies, procedures, standards or regulations.
The anomalies will be automatically reported to the auditors through a client dashboard sitting on the auditor’s computer. The algorithms behind the sentinels will be tailored for each business, based on the auditor’s risk assessment process and other factors such as industry sector and business activities.
RSM’s Auditor Assistant is a contemporary audit technology. Our tried and tested methodology is embedded in our Auditor Assistant software and we are ISO 9001 accredited. Our software has the added benefit of being able to track recommendations from other auditors, such as your external auditor, or recommendations from regulators such as APRA or ASIC.
Using data leveraging techniques - we will embed business-focused data analytics into our internal audits – offering you valuable audit insights. We have delivered these data-driven insights to many of our local clients.
Another aspect of audit that will continue to innovate is the move from providing reactive advice to proactive advice. This will need to be within the bounds of independence, but audit has access to large databanks of information that can be mined, collated and compared to other client’s circumstances. Auditors will strengthen their ability to predict business outcomes and compare their insights with their client’s results.
Data science will also add value to audit, with audit tools and techniques becoming increasingly sophisticated and leveraging more from data analytics. RSM’s latest thinkBIG series provides small business owners with some great ideas, including data analytics and reporting. Click here to read the full report.
Auditors working remotely will become the norm. Tools and techniques will be further developed following the learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic. The travel restrictions forced on auditors by the pandemic required auditors to become more agile, work from home and not attend client premises to deliver their services.
Instead, audits were conducted remotely, with a heavy reliance on clients uploading their records and documents to cloud systems. The savings in travel and time has been significant. However, there are still further developments and education required for auditors and clients on how to make this approach more efficient, but there are clear signs that this approach has been just as effective as on-site client visits.
Staying alert to the future of audit is always a priority for RSM. The way that auditing is performed will always evolve and RSM will continue to advance and innovate with it.
HOW CAN RSM HELP?
If you have any questions regarding the future of audit, contact your local RSM expert.