The Power of Auditors in Accounting Technology

Computer applications and other electronic devices have penetrated most of the integral parts of a business, including information infrastructure, cybersecurity, finance and accounting, and the like. With the combination of hardware and software platforms, whether in-house or commercially developed, Information Technology (IT) is an edge considered by market leaders in attaining profit and a basis in doing business decisions.

In this age of digital information, businesses have been leaning towards computerized assistance to attain better performance objectives and capitalize on any available and effective machineries that specialize in data collection and processing. The transition of incorporating artificial intelligence from manual processing, has made an impact in producing and gathering information with accuracy in a speed of light. Technology has become a vital source of progress and information exchange especially in the field of Accounting.

In a study entitled, “The Impact of Information Technology (IT) on modern accounting systems” published at ScienceDirect has explained that “the biggest impact IT has made on Accounting is the ability of companies to develop and use computerized systems to track and record financial transactions. Paper ledgers, manual spreadsheets and hand-written financial statements have all been translated into computer systems that can quickly present individual transactions into financial reports”, these system applications may come with available features that can be customized with the present business operations. Business leaders may opt to search for commercially developed applications offered by third-party partnerships and tailor specific groups in creating computerized accounting systems.

The evolution of technology in Accounting has made an impact to accountants and put into question the limited capacity of human skills in continuous processing, while it created a negative impression at the beginning, distinguished practitioners from the Accounting industry remained positive in the ongoing exchange of cognitive technology and humanistic approach in terms of processing. In an article by IFAC, Accounting leaders from international countries have seen the emerging technology as an opportunity to carry out audits in a more efficient manner, it has opened up new routines and tools that may enhance their current processes and change their mindset in evaluating options to “adopt and adapt” to the new technology.

In a fast-paced development of the e-market and financial industry, Raymond Cheng, a distinguished accountant from Hong Kong explained, “An understanding of new accounting software and other business and financial models will be necessary if practicing accountants are to effectively conduct audits and discharge their responsibilities. Continuing professional development and education in this area will be necessary for auditors”, this means accountants and aspiring accountants are expected to stay updated in the new means of learning, to become aware of the new and emerging applications necessary to develop faster and more effective human intervention in managing electronic information.

For Mats Olsson, another distinguished accountant from Sweden, “We need to be more open-minded about emerging technologies as our work will likely become even more computer-based. Ultimately what will differentiate one accountant from another is not their ability to manage IT but rather their ability to better communicate with clients, to use the time saved by technology to develop client relationships and become a successful trusted business advisor” keeping up with good communication and partnerships with business leaders are essential in trust-building for potential clients.

As a business leader, communication and relationship building is an essential part of good third-party partnerships in order to commence a well-planned business decision, seeking experts with a heart is also necessarily to create balance and harmony and a long-term business relationship as well.

The rise of enhanced auditing systems is seen as favorable by the majority of CEOs. In the 2016 KPMG CEO Outlook survey, with the need for speed and digitizing businesses, 46% are highly confident about their growth prospects over the next three years. They are expected to make significant cyber investments along with their trust on cybersecurity.

As technology evolves and audits transform into electronic versions of data, the need for tech-savvy auditors and accountants are necessary investments for human resource and technology combined reveal more about a company’s strengths and weaknesses. While system applications provide ultimate quality and precision, the ability of auditors to scrutinize information and develop a more creative approach in solving a problem may dig deeper in understanding potential risks and business opportunities.

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