Audit and Financial Reporting: New Skills, New Challenges: Part 1

New technologies are rapidly transforming the finance function as many manual tasks are automated and digital resources can be used to analyze an overwhelming flood of data. Whether it is robotic process automation (RPA), blockchain or artificial intelligence (AI), senior-level financial leaders are beginning an important transformation of their profession through technology.

And while much has been advertised about the impact of tech broadly on finance, there is also a renaissance that is digitally transforming its two most core functions: auditing and financial reporting.

In this series, the Financial Education & Research Foundation (FERF) collaborated with Deloitte & Touche LLP to speak with industry leaders regarding efforts to help transform the financial reporting and audit process through new technologies.

This series, along with an associated survey of 135 Financial Executives International members, provides these key takeaways for senior-level financial executives who may be seeking to understand technology and the audit of the future:
  • Collaboration is essential: Financial executives are enthusiastic about applying additional technology resources to financial reporting and audit work, but it may require that the external auditors be a step-by-step participant in the process.
  • Cloud tech and audit testing lead the way: When it comes to the digital process, the use of cloud platforms has been widely adopted and performing audit testing has outpaced the other audit processes when it comes to leveraging technology.
  • Confidence in staff, but perhaps not data: Management believes current staff have the ability to incorporate new technologies into the finance function, but a majority of financial executives are unsure of the quality of the underlying data.

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