Technology Skills: 2018 Audit Team Trends Report

In our newly released 2018 Audit Team Trends Report, where we interviewed six audit industry experts about their views for 2018 and reported on our survey of more than 800 others in the audit field, we found that data analytics was the top technology skill that will be important for auditors to have this year.


According to Bistra Dimitrova, MBA, CIA, CRMA and Manager of Internal Audit at Kronos Inc.,


“Ideally at least one or two of the team members [of your audit team] should be proficient in data analytics and data mining. As an internal auditor you come across different systems, and very often there is a need to combine data from different systems or corroborate and cross-reference the data from one system with another. Being able to use audit software, such as IDEA, comes very handy and decreases the dependency of the internal audit team on other groups for receiving data.”


But understanding the technology without knowing the business is a no-go for Robert Berry, CPA and Executive Director of Internal Audit at the University of South Alabama:


“In terms of technical capabilities, data analytics is the future, no matter how you slice it. But before you get to the point of using a tool to analyze data, you need to understand your business/industry so that you can ask good business questions and then use the data to answer to questions that will improve operations. Then when you start analyzing the data you are simply using the tool as a means to an end.”


In terms of areas to apply data analytics skills, it is not just for financial statements and systems. According to Scott Jones, PE, CIA, CRMA and President and CEO of Key Performance Initiatives Inc.,


“Network logs and computer systems are massive, but there is probably room to perform more data analytics in those areas. Information security staff should be doing their own analytics to detect any intrusions, but as time goes on internal audit may need to do an independent analysis of information (like log data) to validate that there is no evidence of intrusions, and to validate the conclusions from information security regarding the effectiveness of IT controls. That will be a growing area.”


Besides data analytics, other technologies and skills that our respondents said were on their minds included data mining, big data analytics, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, continuous auditing and machine learning.


Download your copy of the 2018 Audit Team Trends Report to read more about the technology skills that our experts said auditors should have as well as to learn how audit teams should be structured, critical skills every auditor should have, and what changes our experts expect in 2018.


About Anu Sood:

Anu Sood is the Director of Product and Corporate Marketing at CaseWare Analytics and is responsible for the company’s global marketing strategy. Prior to CaseWare Analytics, Anu worked in various roles in the high-tech industry and her accomplishments range from writing software for telephone switches to launching a new global satellite communication service. Anu has extensive experience in strategic marketing, corporate communications, demand generation, content marketing, product management, product marketing and technology development.

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