3 minute read 20 Dec 2023
Touching metaverse

What happens when you audit with human insight and artificial intelligence?

By Yana Töngi

Partner, Digital Assurance Leader in Financial Services | EY Switzerland

Passionate about innovation and audit transformation. Internal controls and processes expert.

3 minute read 20 Dec 2023
Related topics AI Digital Financial Services

Auditors must respond to shifts in business models and risk triggered by AI – and use this new technology to reimagine audits.

In brief

  • With more and more data to be audited, AI offers a mechanism to augment, automate and scale up human expertise.
  • AI cannot be a standalone solution; instead, it serves as a proactive tool, streamlining routine analysis and enriching the auditor’s workflow.

Navigating today’s financial landscape is a bit like exploring the uncharted. Auditors, like seasoned captains, have typically relied on their experience and expertise to effectively sail through oceans of data. In today's world, it’s no longer enough.

Stakeholders are demanding more accountability, creating upward pressure on cost of audit delivery. Auditors have already embraced robotic process automation (RPA) and data analytics to efficiently navigate these challenges and their attention is now turning to artificial intelligence. This technology is able to cut through the big data, detecting risks and uncovering complexities with unprecedented confidence. This tech leap did not just accelerate auditor’s journey but redefined the very nature of audit.

AI is a powerful tool that encapsulates elements of human expertise
Yana Töngi

AI is a powerful tool that encapsulates elements of human expertise, enabling its application on the volumes of data we encounter daily. AI is expected to enhance every aspect of the auditor's workflow: from applying document analytics on larger populations, to detecting anomalies in financial data or even assimilating audit outcomes and insights across the practice to enhance and strategize subsequent audits.

AI-powered tools will be able to suggest relevant content according to the audit process being performed, which will accelerate delivery and enhance quality.
As in many other sectors, AI advances in audit will increasingly contribute to a positive experience for its users, making the profession overall more attractive. Being able to automate and apply elements of human intelligence at scale, will allow future auditors to expand their horizons, refine their understanding the business and  better assess associated risks.

New technologies, new challenges

On the flip side, increased adoption of AI by companies comes with its own new and unique challenges. One ever-present concern is how to ensure the integrity and security of the data AI systems analyze, which also includes, maintaining data privacy and meeting associated regulatory requirements, as defined by the Swiss Data Protection Act and European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In addition, objectivity, transparency, accuracy and explain-ability of AI models will become increasingly relevant, especially as legislative initiatives, such as the forthcoming EU Artificial Intelligence Act, mature. The extent to which companies – and their auditors – will have to consider these aspects will depend on their leverage of AI within key processes. 

Over-reliance on AI technology is an important topic for both companies and auditors. While AI is promising, users should be aware of additional risks for their decision making. Accordingly, having certain safeguards will be required to support a proper governance of AI. These may include:

  • Guidance to follow in assessing the risks of internal AI technology
  • Procedures to consider the alignment of AI application with a company’s broader business strategy
  • Testing of management controls to mitigate the risks of potential errors or inaccuracies associated with AI technology

As the technological landscape evolves, auditors face a torrent of data and increased risks that are challenging to address with traditional techniques. This foresight has been the cornerstone of developments applying AI in navigating the complex audit terrain.


In today’s business landscape, it is essential for organizations to address the impact of AI on their future strategies and operational frameworks. Auditors must understand the impact of such rapid technological advancement on their clients’ risk landscape – but also the potential opportunities of cutting-edge technology in in enhancing audit processes. Trust and confidence will be paramount in this constantly evolving environment.


We kindly thank Joby Jose for his valuable contribution to this article.

About this article

By Yana Töngi

Partner, Digital Assurance Leader in Financial Services | EY Switzerland

Passionate about innovation and audit transformation. Internal controls and processes expert.

Related topics AI Digital Financial Services