As an independent auditor, we, the audit professionals at KPMG, play an important role – that of intermediary between providers and users of business information. Stakeholders demand more transparency, and we are glad to provide it: we are changing the way in which we do our work, we listen proactively and we use technology to empower our people. Thanks to technology, the auditor can focus more on the control of financial and non-financial information. Using technology allows us to see more, which means our people understand their clients better and focus more on changing societal expectations, for example in the areas of fraud, sustainability, fair artificial intelligence, privacy and information security. This innovation in our field makes our work more relevant and therefore also more attractive to our people.
Innovating the audit
‘Innovation’ is not generally associated with audits. But at KPMG, innovation is the basis of our strategy for tackling the unprecedented challenges and opportunities confronting our auditors. The core of our mission is recognising our responsibility towards society and the capital markets as auditors. Innovations are therefore needed to improve audit quality. An illustrative example is the use of data analysis in the audit in order to replace random samples with control of the entire population of transactions.
In addition, we believe that our auditors should be able to focus on complex material. For this reason, we are introducing far-reaching automation of work of a repetitive and administrative nature. Examples are the complete reconciliation of the client’s ledger with their IT systems and performing generic IT controls for SAP systems entirely automatically.
However, innovation is not something we do alone but in partnership with our clients. Where we can, we work together to further digitise the audit, playing an active role in order to improve our services. For instance, we test our innovations at our clients, generating insights that improve both the audit and their business processes.