After a brief online analysis is simple to realize that technology is considered one of the most impactful variables in the future of auditing. At Auren, more than keeping up with technological innovation, we seek to integrate it into the culture of our customers and our teams. During our experience as external and internal auditors, we often realized that digital transformation is not just about technology used in auditing, it is about how people appropriate this innovation and change their mindset about the use of data, in the context of the organization. Quoting Tsedal Neeley, co-author of the book Developing a Digital Mindset: How to Lead Your Organization into the Age of Data, Algorithms, and AI: “Digital transformation is changing the organization, how it functions to use data, technology in the form of algorithms, computing power, and reimagining your business models to serve your stakeholders very differently.“
In this context, we share with you some practical examples of how we apply digital transformation in our audit services, to add value to our clients.
1) Real time instead of “mandatory” time
Our technology allows real-time access to customer information. Being based on collaborative models in the cloud, it drastically reduces the time invested in document tracking and validation, facilitating communication and collaboration between our multidisciplinary teams and the client’s teams. Thus, in addition to the traditional reporting cycles, we have the practice of sending regular feedback to customers, anticipating any possible non-compliance.
2) Co-creation of processing models
The systems in use on the market are fully capable of extracting and processing an enormous amount of information. Auren’s strategy is to preventively work in collaboration with the client’s IT teams, validating the information sources and queries of the models (algorithms) for processing information. With this approach, the critical analysis of financial data is facilitated, and new fields for crossing information can be introduced.
3) Integration of non-financial variables
As auditors, our role is to anticipate and mitigate risks, validating the contribution of companies to the well-being of society and the economy. We are already supporting our customers in introducing analysis parameters to respond to sustainability reporting (namely, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, mandatory in Europe from 2025).
4) Strengthening digital skills
With innovation becoming faster and faster, there is pressure to develop digital skills. As the Auren teams are pioneers in audit processes with digital transformation, they can support clients in this development, sharing know-how, and facilitating the introduction of topics such as cyber security, cryptocurrencies, blockchain programming, etc.
5) Strengthening trust relationships
Without trust, technology cannot bring benefits. With easy access to data comes the added responsibility of complying with and enforcing our codes of ethics and rigor. Total transparency in user profiles, with different levels of access to information, is essential to provide customer security.
6) Focus on visual communication
In our team, auditors place equal value on content and form.
After analysing the data, technology allows us to present reports whose layout, graphic elements, and texts (short, clear, relevant) are created to facilitate the understanding and assimilation of information.
In your company, how is digital transformation impacting audit processes? Are you already benefiting form it?
If you are interested in talking about this topic, please leave us a message and one of our auditors will contact you.
Victor Ladeiro, Audit Partner from Auren Portugal