Financial Audit in the Digital Age: Things You Should Keep in Mind
Businesses are digitalizing fast. Even print media, book publishers, and postal services are digitalizing both their products and processes rapidly. With the advent of artificial intelligence, it is expected that more companies will transfer nearly all of their processes to a digital platform. For their part, auditors have also developed audit methods that fit their client’s digital processes, the latest example of which is the introduction of artificial intelligence in audit.
While auditors have come a long way to formulate these methods, the advancements in technology are continuously changing the ways processes move in the digital world. Here are key points in conducting audit in the digital landscape:
Update your existing knowledge of the audit industry
The audit industry is an ever-evolving field. Audit clients are now looking for new ways to understand audit reports and to get more value out of them. As companies continue to improve their operations by integrating new technology such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and machine learning, auditors face the challenge of reading into these changes and producing meaningful results.
In addition to the technological changes, governments are also recognizing the importance of the digital and cyber world. Data protection measures such as the EU’s GDPR has made news when it was fully implemented last May. Auditors must keep themselves updated on changes in compliance measures, especially in the digital world.
It is important for auditors to equip themselves with fresh knowledge in audit methods and technology. Failure to do so will result to output that is generic and irrelevant to their business objectives.
Invest in cybersecurity measures
The past two years revealed how big a deal cybersecurity is. We have seen ransomware and hackers cost businesses $5 billion in 2017 alone. In order to protect their interests, many companies have implemented their own cybersecurity measures. It is part of an auditor’s task to ensure that the finance and accounting team, as well as critical areas of the company’s operations, follow these security measures.
On their part, audit firms and auditors must also have cybersecurity defense to protect the data of their firm, as well as that of their clients. The last thing any service-oriented firm needs is the mismanagement or security breach of their data or the data of their clients.
Think outside the box
With technology playing well to fulfill a number of the daily repetitive tasks of auditors, auditors now have opportunities to add value to audit reports and to the rest of their work. It is important for auditors to further their work by utilizing the latest technologies. With audit automation, auditors can also perform data analysis and deliver actionable, customized, and more insightful recommendations. Applying the latest technology in audit can give you an edge among your competitors.
Audit technology has come a long way in helping auditors advance their practice in the digital world. Utilizing the latest technology can help you deliver better, accurate, and more relevant output in the digital world.