Audit 2025: The future is now

Organizations want significant modifications in the approach to audit sooner rather than later. This report analyzes areas in which audit needs to evolve and what auditors must do to keep pace with clients’ changing expectations.

To uncover what organizations expect from audit in the future, Forbes Insights and KPMG surveyed U.S.-based CFOs, chief audit officers, chief tax officers, audit committee members and other financial executives. Following is a synopsis of what they had to say.

Key findings:

  • Nearly 80 per cent of respondents believe that in their day-to-day work, auditors should use bigger samples, and 78 per cent believe auditors should use more sophisticated technologies for data gathering and analysis. Almost half (47 per cent) say auditors should perform a deeper analysis in areas they already cover.
  • Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of respondents want their auditor to articulate a clear point of view on critical issues. While 56 per cent want to leverage data and analytics into actionable insights, another 47 per cent want auditors to constructively challenge client management.
  • Sixty per cent of respondents believe audits should help in assessing risks and risk management practices. More than half (52 per cent) are looking for a forward-trending view of risks and 48 per cent are looking for a forward-trending view of data.
  • Nearly half (47 per cent) want more transparency about arriving at the audit opinion and what has been learned during the audit. Forty-three per cent of respondents seek more insight on proactive quality assurance and regulatory compliance, and the same number would like to gain more understanding of areas not covered by audit. Forty-two per cent would like a more holistic view of the state and prospects of the organization.
  • Respondents believe that the biggest challenges to enhancing the impact of audit are the regulatory environment (66 per cent), budget (57 per cent), the litigation environment (55 per cent) and data security (55 per cent).

Clients are also looking for increased technology skills (67 per cent), communication skills (66 per cent), critical thinking skills (65 per cent) and investigative financial skills (59 per cent).