5 minute read 10 Oct 2019
Audit technology and digital - Conceptual illustration

How the EY Digital Audit is evolving to meet new challenges

By

Hermann Sidhu

EY Global Assurance Digital Leader

Driving large-scale connectivity and digital innovation across the Assurance practice with game-changing technologies and practices.

5 minute read 10 Oct 2019

As audit technology and digital have changed business models and created new risks, EY has digitized the audit from end to end.

In the past five years, the EY Assurance service line has been undergoing unprecedented transformation. This has occurred in tandem with the changes driven by companies that are increasingly leveraging new technology and data capabilities.

So, it should come as no surprise that audit technology and digital is one of the pillars of the Sustainable Audit Quality program. Just as companies are investing in systems to promote connectivity and collaboration, so is the EY organization. The EY Digital Audit is the result of significant investment and combines leading-edge tools with smart deployment. It is the profession’s first connected, data-driven audit and its guiding principles – accessibility, transparency and visibility – are central to a globally connected and integrated approach.

By harnessing the connectivity and insight enhanced by technology, the EY Digital Audit provides stakeholders with greater confidence in the financial reporting of the companies audited. Company management and finance teams can experience a higher-quality audit, and their audit committees can benefit from stronger risk insights and new perspectives.

By harnessing the connectivity and insight enhanced by technology, the EY Digital Audit provides stakeholders with greater confidence in the financial reporting of the companies audited.

More than a transformation in technology, this is also a transformation in how auditors do their work. It improves connectivity, uses automation to help increase time spent focusing on areas requiring judgment, and helps to improve analysis and insight.

A digitized audit from end to end

The EY Digital Audit focuses on four central components:

  • Connecting teams and companies
  • Automating audit processes and procedures
  • Analyzing data, including with emerging technologies
  • Driving value through the digital client experience

EY Canvas, the organization’s global audit platform, is the core of its auditor technology. Now in its fifth annual audit cycle, it drives high-quality audits, enabling EY teams to help deliver:

  • A seamless audit across the globe, carried out by teams linked through one global methodology and one global audit platform
  • Better risk identification and response, allowing findings to be reported promptly
  • Centralized planning and monitoring of the audit across the globe, providing enhanced capability to the primary team
  • Quick customization of the audit approach to make relevant changes across all geographies and to be responsive to the ever-evolving regulatory environment
  • Real-time monitoring of the audit that can capture, flag and share global audit findings as they arise
  • Streamlined client communications via its integrated online portal
  • Improved project management and ability to monitor key milestones in the audit

EY Canvas has a number of specific features whose functionality contributes to high-quality audits. EY Canvas Client Portal connects client users directly to audit teams and is the gateway to provide audit support information. It has been developed to help audited companies securely provide supporting audit evidence, thus reducing their administrative burden in supporting the audit and eliminating duplication and inefficiencies.

EY Canvas Mobile Application Suite is a set of three mobile applications that integrate directly with EY Canvas to streamline and enhance EY auditors’ digital experiences and drive audit quality. EY Canvas Engage helps teams view documents and sign off on audit evidence associated with tasks directly via a mobile device; EY Canvas Inventory allows them to record inventory counts through the app and upload them to EY Canvas immediately; and EY Canvas Pulse provides real-time updates both for audit teams and audited organizations into audit engagement status, timelines and team performance.

As companies generate more and more data, this growing volume of information is being used to deliver higher-quality audits.

The EY Canvas Dashboard is a secure, automated platform, fully integrated with EY Canvas and designed for large multinational audits. It enables EY teams and clients to monitor the status of global audit engagements and drive progress where action needs to be taken.

Security in the cloud

Other key elements of the EY Digital Audit include:

  • EY Helix – a global library of data analyzers, used by EY audit professionals around the world to develop audit evidence in support of conclusions by embedding analytics in every significant aspect of the audit
  • EY Atlas – a global accounting and financial reporting research platform that links EY audit teams to the most relevant and up-to-date accounting, auditing and industry information, including external standards, interpretations and thought leadership
  • WAMapps – a single, secure reporting and data analytics platform custom-built to address the specific data needs for fund audits performed in the Wealth & Asset Management (WAM) sector

All EY audit technology is moving to the cloud. This transition provides an advanced infrastructure that allows EY technology teams to develop, manage and deploy the EY Digital Audit in an EY-isolated virtual private datacenter. This boosts the stability and speed of the platforms and tools, accelerates the speed and scale at which system upgrades and new technologies can be deployed, and embeds advanced security measures. This multi-layered security includes controls over user authentication and data access, encryption for both in-transit and at-rest data, and continuous monitoring of cyber threats.

As companies generate more and more data, this growing volume of information is being used to deliver higher-quality audits. The EY Digital Audit at the heart of the EY purpose of building a better working world through inspiring confidence and trust to help a complex world to work.

Summary

Hermann Sidhu, EY Global Assurance Digital Leader, explains how the EY Digital Audit is evolving in this Transformative Age to set the standard for the data-first way of approaching an audit, combining leading-edge digital tools, stakeholder focus and a commitment to quality.

About this article

By

Hermann Sidhu

EY Global Assurance Digital Leader

Driving large-scale connectivity and digital innovation across the Assurance practice with game-changing technologies and practices.