DailyPost 2592

Two areas which could have been digitalized with a difference and ease were accounts and audit. Accounts went on the digital chopping block pretty early and by now has become a well-oiled machine. There are many a software which conduct this function to every customer’s satisfaction both in the stand-alone mode, and also as a part of any on the enterprise ERPs. The standalone ones also fulfil all business functions necessitated by any transaction and a variety of reports are readily available. The crazy part is that of audit which could remain nearly outside the ambit of the digital technology even to this day.

The auditors say they have some skill that cannot be automated to precision. The crux of the matter is that audit can be digitalized in a much simpler manner. It is an add on function, the nature of its value add all organizations are forced to get into, because of large number of regulatory controls. This is also a reality that audit reports have immense value and accuracy needs to be the hallmark. Leaving aside the business value for the time being; the data inputs, business logic, processing software enabled by AI, and final output in the manner and format required, will not need any out of the world digital skills or algorithms.

As it stands today, there is hardly any audit software, only the data crunching is done by a software and the rest is manual. Given the way audit reports are created and the number of hands it goes through, accepting it as a gospel truth can be suicidal. It has been seen so quite a few cases which were forced to come in the public domain. Might be the human intervention is a sought-after filler in this field. To add integrity to this exercise, audit should have all data movement happening from machine and systems used for its creation. The data from the government databases also provide input for the same. The business logic can be worked out, and with input and output control at your command, the digital tool -software – can do wonders.

This could itself bring everything to audit readiness stage. Some types of audit reports can happen at this stage as well. If it were to happen at the level the chartered accountant is looking for, his ability to get his inputs incorporated in the software. There is no doubt that after two or three iterations, it would come to functional level, improvements would remain a part of the regular evolving process. Given the current scenario, AI can be inbuilt into this audit mechanism. The historical data needs to be fed into the system and with the current inputs flowing seamlessly, the magic is bound to happen. The patterns, the connects, insights and predictions would take audit to a different level. It would help audit the auditors too. Slowly, as the systems fall in place, it can be transformed into a dynamic and real time one. Inbuilt AI enabled audit once fully operational will make you feel as if audit is barely a function. Organic and refreshing with no drudgery.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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