Challenges Facing Auditors in 2020

Challenges facing auditors in 2020

As we turn the calendar to the new year, it’s a good time to reflect on challenges facing auditors and identify opportunities for improved audit quality and client service.  To help, this blog outlines our recent webinar, State of Audit – 2020. In general, three industry thought leaders discussed recent trends and challenges facing auditors. Additionally, they also shared tools available today that can help overcome those hurdles.  Those industry thought leaders included:

  • Vincent Gaudiuso, Quality Control Partner at Buchbinder Tunick & Company, LLP
  • Melisa Galasso, CEO of Galasso Learning Solutions
  • Joel Ortner, Senior Technical Product Manager at Wolters Kluwer

For example, risk assessment – a critical focus area identified in the AICPA’s Enhancing Audit Quality Initiative for 2020 – was deliberated.

Technologies that help overcome the challenges

“Over 50% of all audits that were reviewed by peer reviewers responding to a survey were nonconforming due to risk assessment”, said Melisa. With that said, the good news is that you can overcome this challenge with the help of technology. In fact, CCH ProSystem fx® Knowledge Coach helps ensure compliance because it requires auditors to link testing procedures to identified risks. 

Another significant opportunity for auditors right now is finding ways to incorporate data analytics into their procedures.  Vincent saw opportunity in using the TeamMate™ Analytics solution to help analyze large populations of data.   He stated, “There’s a tremendous amount of data. For example, you could be auditing a commercial entity with hundreds of thousands of line items of revenue transactions. Or, you could be auditing an employee benefit plan that may have 25,000 participants. In both cases, data analytics applications like TeamMate™ Analytics can really help you”.

Moreover, changing regulations remain a constant challenge to the audit profession as well.  Organizations like the ASB, PCAOB and IIASB continue to look for ways to converge auditing standards while also meeting the needs of the public and accounting firms.  For the most part, the end of 2019 didn’t bring any major changes to the auditing standards. However it did provide an opportunity for auditors to prepare for significant changes in the coming years.  For instance, SAS 134-138 all have future effective dates and will require:

  • First, significant changes to the auditor’s report
  • Second, communication of key items identified during the audit
  • Third, an overhaul of auditing employee benefit plans

Keep learning

In short, to learn more about these challenges – and Wolters Kluwer tools that help meet them – watch the entire webinar at your convenience.


Patrick Tokarski

All stories by: Patrick Tokarski