As practice shows, traditional audit is not effective enough, although its importance grows with each passing year. Usual “manual” verification methods do not allow to receive the results of an audit in a timely manner or to understand where the weakness has occurred and how a business can improve its performance. Investors want to know in which way the company could better eliminate risks or maximize profits and do so on time before the situation escalation. Therefore, the main task of the future audit is the mastery of modern approaches to its implementation and the use of the widest range of tools from related industries, including IT. One thing is clear: the changes in the audit and the approaches to work are inevitable, so auditors need to acquire new competencies in order to be in demand by clients. And it should be started today.

Audit function development

The importance of auditing for executives of companies, business owners, top management and investors increases every year, and its results are highly valued and have a decisive influence on the adoption of fateful solutions for companies all over the world. However, recently, it is noticeable a tendency towards expanding the sphere of verification of information reliability. In order to do this, the audit should respond more quickly to changes and constantly evolve, increasing the set of tools for its implementation and replenishing the range of necessary competencies of auditors, in particular in IT, in order to maintain its relevance.

However, traditional audit methods lose the degree of usefulness for users of information. Business executives want to get the data as quickly as possible in real-time and act ahead of potential threats to business. Most investors are not ready to wait for the auditor’s report for several months. Current information is needed here and now. Therefore, auditors should consider using modern technologies to ensure the quality and timeliness of audits to improve its effectiveness.

With the help of modern tools and resources, audit experts can more rationally use their time. Today, the audit process becomes automated, industry representatives gradually refuse to use “manual” analysis. Machine learning algorithms are currently actively used to test documents in international auditing and consulting companies, reducing the time for processing information, using tools of big data, machine learning and analytics.

Today, the effectiveness of the auditor is determined not by the speed of operation with big data collected “manually”, but the ability to think critically, attract innovative ideas and identify potential risks to the company in a timely manner, and suggest effective ways to overcome crises.

There are already mobile applications that allow auditors to count, evaluate the results of audits, and share their information in real time.

Technologies challenge traditional methods of work

The world develops rapidly. In order to stay afloat and even more to win in the competition, companies have to play under new rules, to form modern business management systems, and to increase the requirements for employees’ knowledge and skills.

Innovation in the field of audit changed the approach to assessing the professional knowledge, competencies and specialists experience. Now leading audit companies all over the world want to see among their employees the specialists who actively expand the range of professional skills in using digital technologies, know foreign languages, in particular English, customer-oriented and capable of creative solutions.

The key skills for modern auditors and future experts are the abilities to transform raw data into creative ideas that can be used by stakeholders for business needs and protection from potential threats. Auditors need IT skills to digitize information and streamline data exchange, rapid analysis and reporting, but it is not necessarily to be able to program. However, the ability to easily adapt to the latest developments in the industry is necessary. A professional in auditing to become marketable should be a free-to-navigate in digital world and know how to apply innovative solutions to work.

Change in approach to audit

Digitalization is a new trend of the present time, which requires changes in staffing, new management styles, and other systems of organization of work. Recent research suggests that most traditional companies are not yet ready for digital transformation. The main problem is in the staff that got accustomed to work, using traditional tools and methods of interaction between themselves and with clients.

But today, people and communication among themselves in teams are more important than the processes and tools they use at work. Feedback with audit clients is more important than formal discussion of a contract for service provision. Much higher value is given to a quick and flexible reaction to changes than to follow a pre-agreed plan.

A new type of employees who work in teams and are personally responsible for their work needs new ways for their motivation. Today, it is very valued not only the opportunity for professional development, career growth and high remuneration for work, but also the transition from the hierarchy to the network, from work control to trust and delegation of authority, but with adhering of strict rules of the game; from planning to experimentation; from closeness to transparency, etc.

Companies that are timely aware of the importance of introducing innovative changes and constantly look for new ways to interact with the world and allied industries, guaranteed get leadership positions in the market. Today the main key to sustainable business development is to be on trend and to meet the requirements of modern users of services.