19 / 06 / 2020 - What challenges and trends will mark the profession of auditor and auditor in the near future?
Mandatory confinement imposed by Covid-19 disrupted most professions around the world, and auditing was no exception. By mid-March most of the audits with reference to the year ended December 31, 2019 were ongoing and the first major challenge was, and is still being, the completion of work remotely. Audit work is normally carried out at the clients' premises, so their continuity was, at this stage, more dependent on the client's ability to provide information in digital format, rather than necessarily on the conditions of access to the systems' systems. own audit firms, whose processes were already carried out, for the most part, remotely.
The auditing profession was already undergoing a process of digital transformation, necessarily following the same need arising from the customer's perspective, which allowed auditors to make a significant advance, translated into access to systems, increased communication via videoconference and the focus of matters relevant audit trails.
The economic crisis that will result from the pandemic, although with effects of great uncertainty, will have direct and indirect impacts on the audited entities. In crisis environments there are usually more and greater regulatory requirements and increased pressure from the stakeholders in the response to the audits. These impacts will increase the risk and responsibility of auditors, which translates into an enormous and immediate challenge for the profession.
This context accelerates the path of change that has long been announced in the integration of technology in auditing processes and in the implementation of new work analytic tools that allow for more comprehensive analyzes (less dependent on sampling criteria), carried out in less time, and with a greater focus on audit input for both customers and users of audit reports.
This change will determine a new profile of auditors, with more skills, greater autonomy and a strong concern for the effectiveness of processes, which will also allow for more balanced solutions in the management of the “work life balance” namely in the flexibility of remote work.
The implementation of these solutions forces audit firms and professionals to rethink their work methods, individual and team productivity metrics, with the assumption of maintaining the quality of audits, creating value with clients and defending the interest public.
See Special "Audit and Review of Accounts" I 2020.06.19