Impact of Big Data on Audits
No matter how difficult it is to confirm it, but there have been statements in the past that state that 80 percent of the data in the world has been created in just the past 2 years. The way data has developed has changed our lives, however, not in the way we are serving as consumers. The time of big data is also playing how a business operates, allowing the business runners to have a lot more insight to their customer than it was possible before. Apart from the customers, the same rule is applying to the suppliers, as well as their business partners and their own business operations.
It is safe to say that when it comes to big data, we have barely scratched the surface as far as the advantages that big data provides to a business is concerned. The technology and analytics software are giving a new high to a person’s ability to tap into information. As a common example, it is like creating an engine that is a lot more powerful than what the world has seen, however, at the same time, the remaining vehicle must be ready to have that engine installed in it, in order for both to complement each other. As for the pressing question that is related to our very own profession is simple, what is the future of auditing in a world that is embracing the big data faster and faster?
As for the answer, the world looks a lore different, the amount of data that is available to companies as well as the data that is being produced by the same companies, IT records replacing records on paper, cloud storage being more and more prominent, stakeholder’s increasing expectations of getting the information as soon as possible, as well as reporting that is completely integrated – all of these factors are enough to have an impact on the auditing process, and big data is bringing all of these factors together, however, in a larger quantity than before.
As per history, the profession of auditors has had a struggling time in order to stay ahead of the curve. When electronic communication was still relatively new, the auditors were just there catching up mainly because the amount of data that was produced by the clients kept on increasing, and it increased at a speed that was too fast, even for the technology good enough to keep a check on all of this could be created. Nowadays, big data has allowed the audit profession a chance to gather all this information as fast as possible.
Winfried Bischoff, who happens to be the chairman of the Financial Reporting Council, addressed delegates at the PwC/IASB Meet the Experts conference that took place last year that big data will soon have a huge impact on how auditing is going to work in the future.
Winfried Bischoff wasn’t alone in this as a lot of other people agreed as well, in summer 2014, a discussion paper was published by Fédération des Experts Comptables Européens (FEE). The paper was called “The future of audit and assurance”, the purpose of this paper was to raise an argument about the big data technologies being ‘revolutionary’ for the auditors, and their entire profession. In order to respond to the paper, several audit companies in Dubai and the rest of the world stated how technology and especially big data are playing a vital role in changing the nature of auditing.