The Future of Audit
Cloud, automation, digitization, artificial and cognitive intelligence – these investments are increasingly table stakes for businesses looking to transform. But they also increase risk to data integrity, which ultimately represents the potential to erode stakeholder trust. Especially within finance functions, these technologies have changed the way data is processed and analyzed, automating changes in the way businesses report and engage with customers, suppliers, employees, and investors.
The big picture: Assurance on the use of technologies, along with IT audits, creates trust, especially as companies move quickly to digitize their businesses to gain a competitive edge. Further, in a study in collaboration with Forbes, finance executives voiced that their external audit firms are using advanced technology, enhancing the audit experience, sustaining quality, delivering deeper insights into areas of heightened risk, providing better benchmarking and increasing data coverage.
How KPMG is leading the profession in IT Audits and technology assurance: This past year, KPMG integrated 1,000+ Technology Assurance professionals into our Audit practice to accelerate innovation.
Our Technology Assurance team is providing real time system assessments, a proactive approach to assist clients with identifying risks early. They are auditing technology with technology, providing IT attestation and SOC reporting.
Here are just three highlights from this year:
1. Technology is enabling us to automate time-consuming tasks, allowing more focus on areas of highest risk. With these powerful digitization tools, we are conducting control testing more effectively. Overall, efficient extraction leads to more data and valuable insights, helping us illuminate trends and identify risks.
Key stat: Last year, we executed more than 2,800 bot runs across both IT audits and IT attestations, more than doubling their use from FY21. Moreover, the number of bots available grew by more than a third.
2. Preparing our people: Our commitment to quality audits is empowered by fit-for-purpose technology in the hands of our skilled people.
- We offer a full suite of courses, including new specific technology assurance pathways to strengthen technology skills, such as cloud, cybersecurity, blockchain, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and IT automation, among others.
- We have refreshed our entire offering of technology assurance learning opportunities to align with updated regulatory and evolving technology requirements.
- All our new Technology Assurance hires as well as our experienced professionals – totaling more than 1,000 people – have been upskilled on integrated controls and technology training.
- More than a quarter of our Technology Assurance professionals have gone through in-depth and hands-on training on leading ERP technologies.
3. Using sandboxes to responsibly drive innovation: We created multiple different sandbox environments that mimic clients’ ERP software landscapes to give our people practical experience building and testing data extractors, bots, and analytics. With these sandboxes, our IT auditors interact with a host of technology landscapes to advance our audit procedures and enhance our automation solutions.
The bottom line: Business digitalization is maturing within the finance function and expanding into other departments, creating opportunities and risks relevant to the capital markets. At KPMG, we are staying ahead of the curve, auditing technology with technology and providing assurance capabilities to impart confidence in these innovations.