Five of the Latest Advancements in Audit & Accounting Technologies : What Does it Mean for your Business?

Over the past years, the audit and accounting scene has seen major improvements that promise a more comprehensive, timely, and accurate practice. Proof of this is listed below referencing a market scan released by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).

Narrowing down on evolving technologies that are now being used and are expected to be implemented in the audit processes, here are some of the latest advancements in the profession and how these may impact your business.

1. Descriptive Analytics

Data analytics had been at the core of businesses regardless of the industry. Key decisions and developments are made whilst looking at the generated data from the firm’s operation, financial transactions, and customer engagements. Nonetheless, looking at huge arrays of figures in rows and columns had proved to be a dilemma for decision makers.

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With the rise of descriptive analytics, the risk of inaccurate insights have been mitigated through the use of charts, pies and graphs which allows top management to see trends, areas of strengths, and improvements at a glance.

In Audit, the practice of descriptive analytics to generate reports has been in full use, providing businesses with easy-to-digest reports. This doesn’t end here; developments have been evident through AI-powered advanced analytics which functions to not only detect risk in its early stages but prompt the necessary response to mitigate it. More of the AI-powered analytics will be discussed in the third item of this list.

2. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

An audit process is a tedious, detailed commitment to assessing usually massive amounts of information about a firm. Through Robotic Process Automation (RPA), repetitive tasks such as data entry and organisation to readable forms, copying and moving information, report generation, or account management are left for software to perform, allowing audit and accounting professionals more time to do what really matters—- drawing sound conclusion and objective judgement based from the information at hand.

To better understand the concept, Wolters Kluwer, in an article shared an analogy that explains the role and the processes involved in the integration of RPA in a business.

Aside from a quicker turnaround time for engagement completion, RPA also provides an added layer of accuracy and quality to the practice that both public accounting firms and businesses alike can benefit from.

3. AI-Powered Prescriptive Analytics

Following the rise of descriptive analytics is AI-powered advanced analytics, which analyses data sets and provides recommendations on what your next course of action should be in mitigating risks and driving your business to success.

The audit and accounting profession has a variety of these tools. One example of which is highlighted in an article by article by CaseWare Idea, which explains the algorithm of comparing two separate areas of suspected fraud with two separate controls and suggests a better course of action.

While human expertise and intervention is the ideal driver for business decisions, insights initially processed by AI and machine learning are a great source of novel strategies and perspectives, hinting at the experts of other channels and approach in data analysis and insight generation.

4. Process Mining

Process mining is examining any actual business process to determine how it functions at a technological layer.  This technology quickly predicts non-compliance concerns/issues, identifies the most common process violations, and the reasons behind them by spotting process deviation.

Making it easier to identify process non-compliance gives management real-time information, such as leading signs, and allows them to act right away.  This reduces organisational risks and improve performance management. Hence, it is crucial to understand how to use process mining in your internal audit or compliance functions within the organisation.

5. Cybersecurity and Data Governance

To battle the surging threats to confidential corporate information, organisations have strict implementations on the use of data and the devices that access it. 

Most times, there are dedicated teams within the organisation that create data governance manuals and monitor them. Each data life cycle stage is protected by strict policies and non-compliance thereof are subjected to strict fines and sanctions.  Other organisations are investing in emerging technologies that contain all information —- general and sensitive, in easily manageable panes, encrypted log-in access, and automated prompt alerts once unauthorised log-in attempts are detected.   

All these efforts are in place to ascertain client information is safe amidst the rising concerns in cybersecurity.

The summarised list above is just a tiny fraction of the emerging and evolving technologies that boost the efficiency and quality of the audit practice. With such advancements, you can expect upgraded services that can deliver useful insights regarding your business’s financial health, processes, and compliance with standards. These will anchor your key decisions to success and competitive edge in today’s volatile, risky, and fluctuating, consumer-driven market as shaped by the continuous technological revolution and changing times.

What we do here at Helmi Talib LLP is evolving alongside environmental and market progress. Our high-performing and innovative teams, with these smart tools and technologies described above, assure that the information that matters to you is prudently monitored and reported so you can lower the risk of failure whilst you make informed and vital decisions as soon as the need arises.

Get in touch with one of our Audit & Assurance teams today.