Algorithm Assurance

The growing use of algorithms

Although algorithms are already used extensively in a number of sectors, their use is quickly advancing. And whilst they can bring many benefits it’s essential to manage risks they can create, too.

Algorithms: the need for a robust risk and control framework

To examine if algorithms are operating as expected, there is an increasing need for assurance over their associated risks. The public is paying more attention to the use of algorithms, forcing regulators and those charged with governance to consider how they are being identified, used, controlled and managed.

A robust algorithm control framework is fundamental to algorithm risk management. It should cover key areas including governance and oversight, algorithm pre- and post- deployment testing and validation, specific algorithm controls around key risks, monitoring, surveillance and appropriate levels of documentation.

In each of these areas, many markets are investigating setting minimum standards. Internal and external stakeholders increasingly seek to understand how their organisation’s use of algorithms measure up against broader industry expectations.

The type of questions organisations needs to ask include:

  • Are we comfortable our algorithms are treating our customers fairly?
  • Are we sure our algorithms are not deliberating distorting markets?
  • Are we satisfied our algorithms meet their design objectives, including under stressed conditions?
  • Have we considered whether our algorithms are discriminatory through the data they consume or due to bias in the coding?
  • Do we have sufficiently designed and documented controls to manage our algorithm-related risks?

With new and quickly evolving technology, regulations and guidelines are still developing, which created a challenging accountability, transparency and compliance landscape for algorithms.

Our specialist team can help organisations with our range of audit and assurance expertise in algorithm technology, risk management and coding skills. Our approach gives careful consideration to relevant regulatory requirements and industry standards and leverages of our proprietary algorithm control framework and validation methodologies, which we have developed while working across different industries and sectors. We can assist organisations in identifying and understanding how they use their algorithms. We can also challenge related governance and oversight, examine the adequacy of algorithm policies and procedures, identify, manage and mitigate risks. Moreover, we can assess whether the control framework meets industry best practice, or relevant defined standards. Where needed, we will also support specific algorithm review activities, including code reviews, making use of our specialist coding teams across a range of programming languages.

If you would like to hear more from us regarding our algorithm assurance services, please get in touch.

Key contacts

Mark Cankett

Mark Cankett


Mark is a Partner in our Banking & Capital Markets Audit Group in London. He is a leading member of our Benchmarks Assurance & Advisory team and a co-Chair of Deloitte’s Global IBOR Reform Steering Co... More

Barry Liddy

Barry Liddy


Barry is a Director within Banking & Capital Markets and is a qualified accountant (ACA). He has over 15 years’ experience spread across industry and financial services. He has worked extensively with... More