Optimising financial processes

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Something to Consider: Artificial Intelligence and Audit & Assurance

Something to Consider February 2018 4


History indicates that industries and professions that fail to embrace new technologies tend to fade, while those that adopt and adapt, thrive. Internal Audit is no exception to this. Artificial Intelligence as a capability has been evolving for decades but its effect on our professional and personal lives has recently become a hotly contested topic, between the evangelists and the naysayers.

A measured and balanced view is important to maximise the benefit of adoption of the latest technologies. Whilst audit is an area of business that can drive substantial gain from AI, it is somewhat unique in that we may not have the choice of when to embrace it!

We need to both be ready to audit AI enabled processes today and start assessing how we can enhance the effectiveness of our service to the management and external stakeholders by applying AI techniques in appropriate ways.

If used effectively, AI has massive potential to reduce the audit effort required on transactions and data at the same time as hugely enhancing granularity and completeness of assurance, and thus resultant audit quality and insight.

That’s very nice on the one hand, but how does IA audit AI in the business?

Audit needs to be ready and active in identifying, assessing and communicating AI’s opportunities AND risks to the business and proposing efforts to respond. Even if your business has not yet deployed any AI within its internal operating scope, it is already exposed to the risk, not least in the cybersecurity domain, which is at the front end of addressing many AI enabled threats today.

This article has some great wisdom to impart around the effect of AI on IA, but a lot of the information is universally useful for those looking to find some common sense, practical advice on latest technology adoption. You can find it here.

Our ‘Something To Consider’ snippets are framed as small, digestible, ‘dashes of insight’ around the pillars of what we define as “World Class Finance” – Process Optimization, Financial Control and Compliance, and Risk Assurance, all underpinned by technology enablement and integration.