How to Make Your Audit and Assurance Practice More Efficient

How to Make Your Audit and Assurance Practice More Efficient

Here are just a few of the benefits that firms can realize by implementing Caseware Audit & Assurance.

Today, all accounting firms face the challenge of delivering greater value to clients during the audit and assurance process while keeping costs low and maintaining high-quality work. While this might sound like an impossible task, Caseware’s technology can help get you there.

Four key benefits Caseware offers auditors

Efficiency and automation are key components in the audit and assurance process, especially in today’s digital age. Caseware Audit & Assurance provides software that utilizes technology to bring these benefits to auditing firms. Here are just a few of the benefits of implementing Caseware Audit and Assurance, along with the ways they can positively impact your firm:

1. Comprehensive audit trail

A critical first step in a reputable audit and assurance process is establishing a clear audit trail. Audit trails are crucial because they prove the accuracy and validity of a company’s financial transactions.

Audit trails clarify each individual’s responsibility for all records, providing vital accountability. To uphold strict audit assurance standards, audit trails should be time-stamped to establish a digital path of events, including supplemental information regarding any amendments or revisions.

When there is no reliable audit trail, audit efficiency decreases significantly. Without a clear, linear record of financial events, you have to depend on external sources to verify the details of transactions. However, these sources can be hard to find, incomplete or may not have the necessary documentation to support the transactions. In these cases, an audit trail can help.

Audit trails also prove the legitimacy of any external access to, and usage of, secure data. Any warning signs within an audit trail could indicate fraudulent activity or user error, but third-party agents can provide audit and assurance services, appraising an audit trail to deliver an unbiased report on vulnerabilities within their clients’ internal systems. 

In fact, the governing agencies for most industries require companies to produce valid audit trails to remain in compliance. If your clients fail to adhere to these guidelines, they risk incurring fines or could even endure criminal investigations. 

Government agencies, such as the IRS in the U.S. and CRA in Canada, could become involved. Aside from the financial and legal implications, many businesses cannot overcome the damage to their reputation when they fall out of compliance due to a governmental audit.    

2. Effective collaboration

Effective collaboration is vital to delivering effective audit and assurance services when more than one person works within the same engagement. During an audit, the entire audit team must access the necessary records to complete their tasks. The individuals involved must communicate their progress to ensure they tick each item in the audit quality assurance checklist as soon as they finish it. 

Managing a team of people working on a single audit engagement can be challenging, though, even under the most ideal circumstances. It can be tricky to balance the organization of files while ensuring everyone is finishing their work. 

This challenge is even greater when there is no efficient quality assurance audit software in place. If your systems do not facilitate real-time collaboration, your team members could inadvertently duplicate their work, wasting valuable resources on efforts they could have spent propelling the process forward. 

Finally, when multiple individuals work within the same audit assurance and compliance software, it is beneficial for them to do so regardless of location. When your audit and assurance process is dependent on each of your team members being onsite simultaneously, you could waste valuable time and resources on unnecessary travel expenses and preparations. 

3. Audit visualization

Engaging visualizations can be extremely useful whenever you need to work with data sets. Visualizations present information in a way that simple rows and columns of numbers cannot. In an audit environment, graphic demonstrations of information give you a different perspective, which helps you connect disparate data points that would otherwise seem unrelated. 

Without the ability to comprehensively view the data using visualizations, you lose out on a perspective that could help you identify outliers and trends. Unforeseen, unusual activity can sometimes be easier to recognize when you view the data in graphic format versus a more traditional spreadsheet. Giving your team members a different way to view the information can invigorate them and help them generate more ideas as they complete the engagement.  

Moreover, when you need to present your audit and assurance data analytics to your client, delivering it in a way that makes sense to them is extremely beneficial. For many people, reading through complicated reports is not engaging enough. A graphic presentation that is pleasing to the eye, professional and impressive can give readers a better, big-picture view of your firm’s efforts.

4. Smarter auditing

Caseware Audit & Assurance makes it easier for you to display your audit trail clearly and accurately, conveniently gathering all engagement documents and supporting materials in a centralized and easily accessible but secure location.

Caseware’s Audit & Assurance software also encourages efficient collaboration among team members regardless of location. Integrated with SmartSync technology, Audit & Assurance allows employees to work simultaneously on engagement files in real time without the hassle of exiting out of documents. 

When you partner with Caseware, you gain a comprehensive set of tools to make your work more efficient and effective. Thanks to our workflow dashboards, you can keep track of engagement activities, helping you determine if your current course of action needs adjustment. This allows you to optimize your audit team’s activities and maintain your focus on reaching your auditing goals.

Larger firms can even migrate their existing process into the Caseware Audit & Assurance system with ease and refresh their protocols to move forward in an evolving industry, while smaller organizations can hit the ground running by taking advantage of Caseware sophisticated audit templates. Whether you are an established auditing firm or a new startup, rest assured that you can leverage the power of Caseware Audit & Assurance to realize these and many other benefits. Get in touch with us today to learn more.