Technology: The key to a better audit experience
As auditors, we often find that when performing our duties our focus is on analyzing the data effectively. This is how we are able to uncover any potential anomalies, trends or outliers that could put the business at risk or that may potentially point to fraud. But thanks to technology’s increasing role in auditing, there is more demand for us to provide our clients with a great audit experience. While some clients are happy to stay uninvolved in how auditors do their work and are only interested in receiving excellent service—e.g., work is completed accurately and on time; meaningful insights are provided; there is a good working relationship with the auditor, etc.—others want the audit process to provide them with a good client experience.
According to the Institute of Customer Service, the customer experience is “what a customer feels, and remembers, about the customer service that he or she has received”, while customer service is “the sum total of what an organization does to meet customer expectations and produce customer satisfaction”. Creating a good client experience is important for many reasons, including:
- To help grow and maintain client relationships
- To build trust and respect between the client and the auditor, which in turn helps lead to more effective audits
- To work toward achieving strategic objectives
A recent article by the LBMC Family of Companies offered different examples of how technology can be leveraged to dramatically improve the experience your clients have during an audit. Some of those examples included:
- Tools or programs that let clients grant their authorization electronically helps save time and reduces the number of paper or email confirmations that must be sent back and forth. This is a much more seamless and efficient process—for auditors and clients alike.
- CaseWare IDEA Data Analysis software, which allows auditors to quickly and easily import all necessary client data, then format and organize it as needed. This saves the client’s IT department from having to spend time putting together reports for auditors, and it also saves the client and auditor time because there is no need to reformat the data. The time saved can instead be spent on completing a more effective audit.
IDEA also includes a variety of other features that helps auditors make their clients feel more involved in the audit process. One of these features, called Visualization, has two different tasks that allow auditors to either custom build or automatically generate a dashboard populated with charts and field statistics that make it easier to find anomalies and trends in the data. Auditors can then show these dashboards to their clients, giving them a more clear understanding into the insights the auditor generates based on the supplied data.
To learn more about the advantages IDEA offers that will help improve your clients’ experiences, download our white paper, ‘Forget Excel! Five Reasons to Switch to a Real Data Analytics Tool for Audits’ now or contact us for more information.
About Alain Soublière:
Alain Soublière has many years of experience working with computer audit software. He worked in a senior management role as the IDEA Product Manager for many years before becoming Director of Product strategy for CaseWare Analytics and more recently the Chief Product Strategist.
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