Case Study
The better the question The better the answer The better the world works
Case Study

How a challenge can lead to an audit innovation journey

Discover how an EY team challenged themselves to disrupt their audit process to drive efficiencies and created a team culture of innovation.

Related topics Workforce Audit Innovation
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The better the question

When is a pivot your greatest leap forward?

Finding the best solution often requires innovation.

Disrupt or be disrupted. It’s an often heard mantra in this transformative age. But what’s not often emphasised is that to disrupt and innovate within an industry you first need to disrupt yourself, your team and your own working practices. Two years ago, members of the EY account team for one of the world’s largest financial service providers challenged themselves to disrupt and innovate their audit process and drive further efficiencies and insights for their client.

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The better the answer

The journey

A roadmap of disruption and innovation.

The team of more than 100 people, spanning across multiple regions, embarked on a journey to leverage the full breadth of EY capabilities to deliver something new and impactful for their client. It started simply, with a two-day workshop to brainstorm with leaders from the EY Global Innovation team and see the possibilities being explored across the organization. Following this session, the team’s core leadership group developed a three-year road map to transform the audit experience for the team and the client.

Their first priority was to further improve their audit with solutions from the EY network of technology. They collaborated with the Global Innovation team to implement a client-facing digital platform that enables real-time tracking of global statutory audits and System and Organization Control (SOC) reports. It also provides benchmarking and insights on various financial statement close and statutory audit processes. Over two years, the team identified efficiencies on the audit that would benefit both EY and the client, and the team was able to recognize opportunities for developing new skill sets.

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Preparing people for the future

Innovation can spark valuable new learning and enhanced skill sets.

The team was successful in transforming the team and client experience, but through this, something amazing happened. Members of the team, inspired by the possibilities these technologies could offer, took it on themselves to develop competencies in automation and create new solutions, even though it was above and beyond their core responsibilities. One team member taught herself robotic automation and developed tools that the team uses today to manage testing and client requests. When the team adapted an analytics software, one of the team members began writing scripts to automate tasks for the team. He now leads his own team that spends time writing scripts to improve different audit and administrative processes, all in addition to his day-to-day responsibilities.

"We shouldn’t view innovation or change as extracurricular, it should be embedded in all of our accounts,” says the team’s Digital Audit leader, Jeff Davis. He credited his team’s success to “leveraging the diversity of experience and ideas that all of our people bring to the table, and driving a culture where everyone feels empowered to bring those different ideas and experiences.”

What began as a challenge to disrupt and innovate the audit process has resulted in a team culture of innovation and continuous improvement. This team has leveraged the power of the organization to enhance the skill sets of the team members, creating a model for teams around the world who are unsure where to turn in the face of disruption.