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Tech is essential for efficient fieldwork auditing.

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Article Summary

TLDR:

Key Points:

  • Auditors are prioritizing technology for the fieldwork phase of audit engagements.
  • Automation, data analytics, and AI systems are key areas of interest for auditors.

Summary:

A recent survey conducted by Thomson Reuters found that auditors are focusing on technology that aids them in executing and conducting fieldwork during audit engagements. The survey revealed that while auditors are considering new software and digital tools for various stages of the audit process, the highest priority was given to the execution/fieldwork phase by 46% of respondents. The use of AI was particularly emphasized in this phase, with auditors expressing a desire for automation, data processing, and management tools to streamline audit tasks. Data extraction, data analytics, and automation of audit testing were cited as major benefits of applying new technology to fieldwork.

When it comes to planning, auditors are looking for technology that assists in risk assessment and management, identifies trends, and automates predictive analytics to improve risk assessments. In the pre-engagement stage, technology is sought for client integration tasks, such as collecting critical data and assisting with analysis. Lastly, in the wrap-up phase, auditors value technology that aids in producing coherent, informative, and accurate reports for clients, automates financial statements, and enhances data visualization.

However, some audit firms are facing challenges in adopting technology due to staffing concerns, retention issues, and price pressures. The survey highlighted the need for skilled professionals with technical audit knowledge and critical thinking skills to effectively implement new technologies in audit processes. Moreover, firms are finding it difficult to invest in new technology amidst competition and declining client revenues.

The survey polled 180 audit professionals from the U.S., U.K., and Canada, with a focus on decision-makers involved in purchase decisions, client work, and use of digital tools. Overall, the findings reflect a growing emphasis on technology adoption in the audit field to improve efficiency, accuracy, and client service.


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