Audit technology & audit teams
Recently we hosted a webinar titled Three Tips for Audit Teams to Work Smarter, Faster and for Less. Presenters included:
- Jim Bourke, Partner and Managing Director, Advisory Services at Withum
- Joel Ortner, Senior Technical Product Manager at Wolters Kluwer
Their discussion centered around challenges currently facing audit firms, such as:
- Access to client data
- Finding and retaining staff
- Setting realistic expectations
Additionally, they shared a tone of tips firms can incorporate to work smarter and help meet firm goals. Regarding finding and retaining staff, for example, Bourke shared this.
A tip on finding & retaining staff
“I get around to a lot of CPA firms around the globe. I go in and the partners are saying, “Hey, there’s something wrong. We’re not efficient. We’re not utilizing technology.” When I talk to the staff, the staff all tell me, “For the most part, the firm deploys the right technologies, but they don’t train us on how to use these technologies to the fullest extent.” My comment on that is when you’re deploying new technology, understand there’s a couple of components. You have the cost of the technology itself. All too often, though, firms look at that cost and say, “Okay, that’s good. I’m going to scrimp on the training piece. I’m not going to spend the dollars on the training piece.”
“However, if you truly want to be efficient with training, train all your staff on an overview of how to use the technology. Then get a champion and a core group of individual staff to deep dive on the training. Have them be your experts, and then do a train the trainer-type of a process within your firm. That’s what we do. We train everyone on all the technology that’s deployed. That’s important because when you put technology in their hands, they need to understand it.”
Audit technology helps
To add, during the webinar they also talked about audit technology. Specifically, they discussed how and why Wolters Kluwer’s audit solutions are some of the best technology to aid in working smarter, faster and for less. For example, regarding CCH® ProSystem fx® Knowledge Coach, Bourke had this to say.
“When we switched to Knowledge Coach and its methodology, we decided to switch in a peer review year. I thought my partners were going to have my head when I suggested that. However, I felt so confident that it was the right decision. With that said, we spent a lot of time training our staff and our partners on that new methodology.”
Bourke continued, “I was in the exit conference for our peer review. We’d passed. It was all good. Then I asked our peer reviewer this question. “Did you notice anything different with respect to the audit work papers? With respect to how we did the audit?” I asked that because we had multiple offices and that was always an issue in the past, with things looking a little bit different from office to office.”
A Peer Reviewer’s insights
“What Knowledge Coach did, though, was amazing.” Bourke said. “The Peer Reviewer told us they noticed more consistency throughout the entire audit process. They noticed that we addressed risks in a way we’d never done before. THAT had me turn to all my partners in the meeting and say, “This is why we switched to Knowledge Coach and its risk-based methodology.” It gave us a great peer review and a great exit conference. In fact, the firm that did our peer review ended up switching to Knowledge Coach about a year later.”
So many great stories and tips were shared during this 50-minute webinar. Take the time to watch the recording and learn more, Three Tips for Audit Team to Work Smarter, Faster and for Less.