Getting Comfortable with Audit Data Analytics

Audit Talks – LIVE (a virtual conference)

In July, Wolters Kluwer held a two-day virtual conference called Audit Talks – LIVE.  The conference objective was to challenge firms to:

  • Re-imagine their audit processes
  • Discover trends driving the future of audit
  • Learn from industry experts how to transform the way an audit firm works

One of the conference’s highlights was the session ‘Getting Comfortable with Audit Data Analytics”.  As you likely know, the AICPA is shining a bright light on this topic through their:

  • Radar initiative, which looks at how analytics integrates throughout the audit workflow process
  • Guide to Audit Data Analytics, released in late 2017

Cathy Rowe, Director of Technology Product Management at Wolters Kluwer and Kevin Wang, Director of Innovation at Warren Averett presented this session.

Getting comfortable with audit data analytics

During the session, Kevin noted that several years ago their firm saw the wave coming. That wave of how important data would be to an audit, and how to best utilize it.  Kevin said, “Data is important to work with because it tells a story.  The more data you have, the better story it tells.” 

With that said, it’s important for firms to have a plan. Exactly, how will you incorporate analytics into the workflow process? To answer that, first you must consider the tools available to you to get the necessary data from the client to perform the analytics. 

For example, a tool like Engagement Organizer lets you create an electronic and customized PBC (Prepared by Client) list, ensuring you have all the documentation needed prior to the start of the audit. Or, a tool like CCH® Audit Accelerator connects directly to a client’s ERP system and provides source data right in Excel. Access to the data in Excel allows the firm to immediately begin using a tool like TeamMate® Analytics to perform analytics and create visualizations of the client’s data.

Using tools like CCH® Audit Accelerator and TeamMate® Analytics, a firm can create an efficient plan that incorporates analytics into their audit workflow. Possibly start with some simple journal entry testing and sampling. Then, long term, incorporate analytics throughout the entire workflow with guidance from the program step library in CCH® ProSystem fx® Knowledge Coach. That tells you the tests within TeamMate to perform.

These are powerful tools we are talking about, as you can tell. Moreover, this blog just touches on the plethora of valuable information shared during that Audit Talks – LIVE session.

In conclusion

Did you get a chance to attend the inaugural Audit Talks – LIVE virtual conference?  If not, don’t worry. We’re hosting our next Audit Talks – LIVE on December 3-4!  So, watch for more information in the next few weeks on how to sign up for that!

In the meantime, to learn more about how Warren Averett incorporates analytics into their audit workflow, watch the recorded Audit Talks live sessions. It, and all of the other session recordings are accessible here.


Kim Conaway

All stories by: Kim Conaway