Can Current Audit Technology Get Any Better?
The more I am exposed to the current audit technology of today, the more I appreciate its impact. It’s really in a sweet spot now. The simplicity and power of tools which streamline engagements, analyze data, and aid in risk assessments truly put current audit managers in the proverbial driver’s seat. Even this past weekend, I drew correlations to its impact from my own life experiences. How might you ask?
Minor Problems Can Require Major Resources
Who hasn’t experienced a difficult conversation with their trusted auto mechanic? You might know the feeling. Cautious optimism welled up in my mind, as he gave me the “good news” regarding the repair of my antique car. The good news was that my repair involved replacing a vitally important $4 oil seal. “The bad news” was that in order to reach the $4 oil seal, he would have to remove dozens of intricate parts, which after tabulating labor, would adjust the repair cost to $1000! Unfortunately, it was the complexity of the repair process that made the repair time consuming and expensive, not the root problem itself.
The Audit Analogy Take Away
The broader analogy of my previous example to current day audit challenges is clear. Auditors want to address the core questions of risk in every audit, and the faster the better. What keeps them from this core work are process tasks such as organizing, analyzing, and researching data. Unlike the good news/bad news example of the auto repair, current audit technologies make removing process barriers very easy. No manually removing intricate parts here. Take for example the firm of Kreisher Miller of Philadelphia, PA. This 200 member tax and advisory firm is a prime example of how the latest tools are improving every audit.
New Tech And Tested Best Practices= Improved Audits
Steve Carr, Accounting and Audit Manager of Kreisher Miller realized many benefits in their planning and advisory capacities by upgrading their technology and audit steps. Two audit process steps were positively impacted almost right away. These process steps were as follows:
The first area where new audit tools made drastic improvements was in the area of implementing a paperless engagement process. In their case, a paperless engagement process took the form of CCH® ProSystem fx® Engagement. With this new tool, Steve found a central data hub, whereby client data could be easily stored, tracked, reviewed, signed, and ultimately archived. In fact the ease with which the entire staff could access data, shaved hours off of their previous engagement process.
“Engagement is very intuitive. You look at a menu, and 90% of the time you can read it and know exactly what an option or tool is going to do. The learning curve on the software is minimal.” Steve Carr
Risk Analyzing Diagnostics
The second area where improvements were realized was in the implementation of technology that measured risk throughout the entire audit process. Kreisher Miller’s addition of CCH® ProSystem fx® Knowledge Coach helped insure staff were not over auditing or under auditing respective to risk potential. By approaching jobs using the CCH Knowledge-Based Audit methodology, users were freed up to focus on the audit itself as opposed to timely administrative tasks.
“Knowledge Coach automates the audit process without taking away my audit judgement and that’s very important, because I need to have the flexibility to customize an audit based on my perception of audit risk.” Steve Carr
Achieving Optimal Audits on Every Job
Kreisher Miller is one of many firms that are taking proactive action to improve their audit processes. Other firms are following suit as well. In fact, why wouldn’t they? Auditors are at their best when they are actually auditing risk. Distractions that take away from this primary aim only add time and cost to an audit job.
To learn more about improving your firm’s audits, download our eBook 5 Ways To Improve Your Audit Reviews.