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Audit and assurance in digital transformation

It’s time to pivot, refocus and reposition your firm toward adopting cloud-based platforms like Auvenir

Laptop screen displays charts next to a hand holding a tabletAuvenir’s cloud-based solution incorporates audit and assurance workflows by leveraging technology solutions

Digital transformation is in full swing. Across all sectors, the use of modern, cutting-edge technologies has enabled companies to evolve.

For CPAs, cloud-based technology and automation have already become the norm in areas like tax, bookkeeping and accounting. Yet for many audit and assurance practices, digital transformation feels stalled.

“Auditors have not fundamentally changed much [in terms of] how they acquire data for the audit,” says CPA Jeff Gramlich, managing director, accounting at Validis, a cloud-based accounting data solutions business.

When it comes to audits, data is still often moved from paper worksheets to a spreadsheet file and then transferred to various audit workflow tools. Sound tedious? And familiar?

By utilizing the cloud instead, auditors are beginning to realize the benefits of a faster, more secure and streamlined process. “Using these types of tools,” says Gramlich, “is quickly becoming the new standard for audit firms that are prepared to adapt and evolve.”

But be warned: not all audit and assurance products are created equal.

“The biggest challenge we see is that many of the new auditing products don’t often cover the full spectrum of audit services that the firm is providing,” says Donny Shimamoto, CPA, managing director of advisory-focused CPA firm IntapriseTechKnowlogies (ITK). “So adopting the cloud product would force the auditors to switch between platforms—work plan management, paper management, research, testing, etc.—to get their work done.”

“Most of the cloud applications have focused on transaction processing,” says Shimamoto, whose firm helps clients with cloud migration strategies. “The next generation of cloud applications like Auvenir are bringing knowledge management into the same application. For example, with Auvenir you can manage your worksheets and also perform research on audit programs to determine what work needs to be done. Auvenir’s pioneering cloud-based solution seamlessly incorporates all audit and assurance workflows by leveraging technology solutions, including DataShare by Validis and Confirmation by Thomson Reuters, saving time and improving engagement quality. Unlike other products, Auvenir focuses on alleviating pain points for both the accounting firms and their clients, creating an enhanced experience for all parties involved. Then there is today’s fast-changing work environment, where “The Great Resignation” has called for organizations to enable employees to work remotely—this is where cloud-based platforms become essential to doing business. “A firm unwilling to really embrace technology,” says Gramlich, “is going to find it harder every day to retain and acquire good people and keep up with the additional services a technology-focused firm can offer.”

Investing in major technological upgrades for your company used to be a daunting thought, one that conjures images of massive on-premise servers and hardware to store complex data sets and powerful expensive processors that require costly upkeep. Migrating to the cloud is a walk in the park by comparison and solutions such as Auvenir make the process easy and affordable to implement in small-to-mid-sized firms that may have been unable to do so in the past.

Whether you are looking to bolster your existing auditing and assurance systems or take the important first leap forward, it’s time to harness the cloud to carry your business to the future.