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November 10, 2021

It is the process of moving to a digital business. To digitalise is to leverage tools and technologies to do things you've never done so that you can sell what the market wants more effectively. These changes to businesses worldwide are also bringing about transformation to accounting and finances thereby changing the way we do financial statement audits.

The Digital Age of Auditing and Accounting

In business, as in life, change is the only true constant. From mitigating unprecedented business disruptors to adapting to new operational paradigms, professionals in all industries find themselves dealing with major changes, many of them driven by emerging technologies.

Right now, businesses and corporations of all sizes, are investing in technology to improve their organisations.

These new technologies introduce new risks, ranging from compliance, data integrity, accuracy of information and much more. Audit teams need to be properly equipped to handle these changes as well as have enough of experience and skill on the new technologies (such as cloud accounting, cryptocurrency, and various others). Investment in people skills is the real secret to quality technology audits and should be our focus area for the next couple of years.

Auditing through automation and innovation is the way forward. There are a number of new technologies out there from a wide range of service providers to help capture data, automate procedures, analyse information and focus on the real risks. The opportunity is now in understanding the technology and how it can help with the challenges facing audits.

Investment in technology is the current focus area for many businesses, while that is brilliant, the concentration is on improving existing processes and solutions, but the shift in mindset needs to be on artificial intelligence and machine learning. These changes will have a significant impact on the evolution of accounting and auditing.

The accounting profession has moved far beyond mere bookkeeping and payroll, it's taking an increasingly strategic role for forward-thinking businesses. The new era of providing “total business solutions” is a game changer for all businesses. While there are some experts that are of the opinion that accounting has a bleak future in the digital world of tomorrow, technologies such as cloud-based data management, process automation and advanced analytics are primed to further elevate accountants in innovative and empowering techniques.

Conclusion

The fundamentals of auditing and accounting remain the same, even in the digital age. Technological trends have the potential to transform auditing and accounting. Digital technologies can process data and information far more efficiently and reliably than people can. This provides an opportunity to fundamentally reshape and remodel many financial and risk procedures and create what all organisations are seeking for, “Value add".

Accensis is  a member of Prime Global, one of the 5 largest associations of independent accounting firms in the world, comprised of approximately 300 highly successful independent public accounting firms in over 80 countries.