Digital experiences encompass everything we do, and as technology continuously advances, so does the expectation for businesses to provide higher quality and more efficient customer and user experiences, especially in service-based industries like accounting.
Over the last decade, accounting firms have moved from paper-based audits to paperless data and documentation. In most cases, this meant moving piles of data and documents from paper to an electronic format. But while data and documentation has been highly digitized, audit firms are lagging in technology adoption. We previously highlighted in our blog why auditors should be moving past spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel to provide better and more efficient audits. However, the audit process, despite the digitizing documents, has remained relatively the same in audit because many firms are still behind in adopting a fully digital process.
While technology has been a transformational catalyst for the business world, the auditing process is unquestionably behind. In areas outside of auditing, accounting firms have been swift adopters of innovation, driven by technologies such as cloud-based platforms, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation.
The pandemic has illustrated the problem of staggering digital transformation. A bike shop that invested in e-commerce capabilities were able to seamlessly shift from a physical approach to a digital approach. With younger, more tech-savvy generations entering the workforce, auditors will need to also start thinking about how technology is no longer an option – it is a requirement of doing business. In case you missed it, here is our previous blog on why firms should embrace new technologies.
While many firms may realize they need to start thinking about their digital transformation, the challenge can be where to start. The reality is, however, that digital transformation cannot occur overnight, and it will not be accomplished as a one-time project. It will involve a series of incremental steps for firms to take, but it is critical that firms begin and find practical and tangible ways to get started on their digital transformation.
Digital transformation for an accounting firm is not just about acquiring new technologies. It also involves transforming your firm’s mindset, leveraging platforms, and applying processes that leverages implementing the digital audit.
When a firm undergoes a successful digital transformation, it has long-lasting benefits, and it can position firms to develop essential capabilities required to thrive in an increasingly digital world. As Eric Barksy, CPA, CA, Senior Product Manager, Auvenir previously mentions in his blog, “Evaluating your current financial assurance software and considering improvements is not a small task, and this decision cannot be made in haste. However, the clear enhancements to quality, client service offerings, and financials should remind firms to embrace the changes underway in the profession.”
Digital audits are transformational for firms and clients, and it allows auditors to reimagine how and why your firm provides its audit services. It’s an innovative approach to examining the value of the audit. Moving towards a digital process to conduct audits involves rethinking how and why your firm provides audit services, and it can empower an improved experience and level of value for your audit clients as well as your staff.
Digital transformation is more accessible than ever before with open and cloud-based API platforms, like Auvenir, which provides flexibility, speedy enhancements, and a broad ecosystem of technology partners as technology inevitably advances.