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What is the future of audit?

There has been controversy surrounding the auditing process across the accountancy industry. The public, the government, and the accountancy industry itself, have been arguing that changes need to be made for increased transparency and efficiency. 
The International Auditing and Assurance Standards board (IAASB) has recently released a consultation on the proposed International Standard on Auditing (ISA) 315 which has been modernized in order to meet evolving needs such as information technology and the usage of automated tools for auditors.
Several scandals in Western Countries have led to public mistrust and a clamor to change. The revision IAASB has put forward intends to address a number of problems. For example, the definition of significant risk and “a lack of clarity about the nature, extent, and a value of work that has to be performed on internal controls”.
ISA 315 is an international auditing standard on risk assessments; it has previously remained unchanged since 2003. As such, the revisions that are now being applied ty the IAASB offer an interesting source of discussion in the accounting world. Just as Katharine Bagshaw, ICAEW Manager of auditing standards said, “ISA 315 is a cornerstone standard and changes to it will affect all other standards, too. The main reservations are about the complexity and scalability of the proposals. Without further work to the standard itself and implementation guidelines, there is a huge risk that the proposals will be interpreted inconsistently across the board. That is not in public interest.”
Data analytics is another great tool allowing auditors to check much larger amounts of information and focus on areas of risk.
The auditor of the future will use data analytics to check data of much larger sets of information from a wide variety of agencies. The volume of transaction nowadays is so high that analytics technology has to be the way to go. It can provide data in almost any format using algorithms. This allows auditors to easily extract information, check anomalies and outliers, and drill down as needed. “red flags” will help remind the auditor on given up risks. The aim is to free auditors form mechanical tasks so they can concentrate on what the really need and want to do, which is auditing.  They would focus in on areas of risk that the analytics would have flagged and this will lead to better performance benchmarking and resource as well as auditing oversight. 
All of this requires a large amount of computer processing power. But analytics is the first post of auditing, and then human experience, insight and judgement take over.