2 minute read 3 Feb 2020
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Why private businesses should request digitally transformed audits

Private companies can use the power of connectivity to benefit from a digitally transformed audit that enhances quality while driving value.

Private businesses are embracing today’s technology transformation to streamline processes, improve workflow efficiencies, increase productivity and, most importantly, remain competitive. They are using digital platforms, software and apps to communicate, collaborate and manage or access data to enhance everything from production to blockchain solutions. Their actions are inherently creating data-rich environments that make it easier to conduct business while simultaneously cultivating a wealth of information for insightful analytics.

Recognizing the opportunities technology provides, these forward-thinking private businesses also want to harness the power of connectivity to generate more robust audits. As my colleague Hermann Sidhu, EY Global Assurance Digital Leader, has noted in his recent article Is connectivity within the digitalization of the audit an overlooked opportunity? companies desire the increased value a digitally transformed audit can offer. This type of dynamic audit technology can utilize digital channels within all processes, connecting the audit team members with each other and the audited company, as well as fostering effective project management.

According to Sidhu, a leading digital audit platform empowers users by:

  • Digitizing the generation of work papers
  • Centrally storing relevant data
  • Providing real-time audit-status updates
  • Offering mobile functionality for improved connectivity

Digitalization of the audit

Careful planning and receptiveness to this type of audit on the part of the audited company is vital to its success. Leaders must make real efforts to provide auditors with more financial and operational data, gain a deeper knowledge of the general ledger to improve reporting processes, broaden the type of data that is available in digital format, and encourage the company’s finance and IT teams to share information and systems access with the audit team.

CFOs, chief technology officers (CTOs) and boards of directors are key players in helping private businesses manage the challenges involved in deploying a digital audit, such as pushback from team members concerned about privacy, how to address data security, and working with outdated IT systems. Sidhu provides great tips on how leaders and members can help private businesses navigate a successful digital audit. 

Summary

Forward-thinking private businesses are using digital platforms, software and apps to communicate, collaborate and manage or access data. They are inherently creating data-rich environments that present significant opportunities to benefit from a digitally transformed audit. At the same time, this presents some challenges that need to be managed.

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Related topics Assurance Audit Growth