There’s a lot of talk about how automation is going to significantly change the way that an audit service is offered by accounting firms.
I want to talk more about when you may be expected to see some of these changes and what you should do to prepare.
When are we going to see these changes?
The short answer is that it’s going to take years. The BIG changes coming to audit that everyone is predicting are going to take a long time to arrive so there’s no need to panic. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be preparing in the meantime.
What will the first BIG change look like?
Automation is eventually going to give us the ability to audit ALL the data. Today, that process happens more like sampling where we test portions of the data and look for any anomalies. Obviously this strategy has it’s flaws.
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What should you do now to prepare your team?
The biggest change your team will experience is disruptions to their current workflow. They’re going to need to adopt the new workflow and have the skills to leverage the coming tools that will produce these results.
For now, start visualizing how your workflow would need to change to evaluate ALL the data instead of just a sample. Keep in mind that technology is going to be doing the heavy lifting here by reviewing all the data and flagging anything your team should review.
PS. Read the article here for some additional predictions of changes coming to audit.