Case studies

Audit automation: freeing up time to focus on what matters

Our audit automation tool shaves days off repetitive tasks, freeing up time to add insight and quality to our audits

Innovation isn’t always about creating new businesses or products. Sometimes it’s just about doing our job in different ways. Joshua Schwartz, an assistant manager in our Audit and Risk Advisory business talks about how his innovation has transformed audit testing.

“As an Audit associate, I noticed with frustration how much time was being wasted in repeating routine tasks and doing manual formatting during audit testing. I realised there had to be a more efficient and user-friendly way to do it.

I started on a small scale, using a set of macros to automate spreadsheet set-up, and I developed this into an entire programme that can produce spreadsheets and select samples for 16 different areas of audit testing. My audit automation programme automatically selects samples, calculates materiality and populates templates from client schedules – taking just minutes to do what previously could take an associate or senior associate over a week!

My coding skills were very basic when I began this task, but I worked to improve them by using Google and YouTube to overcome my limitations and improve my skills as the project went on. By using technology that was over ten years old - but not applied in this innovative way before – I built a comprehensive and efficient solution for the mechanical aspects of an audit.

For the clients where it has been used, there has been a reduction in time taken and team morale has improved dramatically. This is especially apparent at lower grades, where staff who are now free to perform more interesting and advanced testing. Not only do they get to use their judgement more, their talents are also used effectively rather than on repetitive tasks. What’s more, given the pre-set nature of the audit spreadsheets, there has also been a positive impact on quality, which will only grow as the number of clients we use this on increases. My audit automation tool has given our employees the encouragement to be creative and innovate, as well as adding insight and quality to our audits."

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