The adoption of technology into accounting has had an interesting journey. While some were hesitant at first, it is clear that data analytics and sophisticated technology is imperative for firms and practitioners throughout the country. The reality is the digital tools have transformed the approach to accounting, making firms more efficient, accurate, and compliant. The pandemic hit at the prime time for technology and accounting. Forcing reluctant accounting firms to embrace a digital-first attitude or risk getting left behind the pack meant making meaningful changes both internally and externally.
One of the biggest misconceptions about the evolution of technology and accounting is in thinking that it starts and stops with making manual tasks digital. While this is certainly a benefit of digital accounting tools, the focus must center on the fact that technology enables accountants to plan and perform audits in an entirely different manner. Software today offer accountants the ability to analyze datasets in ways that were previously impossible. For example, these scenarios are made possible with software:
- An investigation of an anomaly that would have not been discovered without digital tools
- Notably more effective risk assessment performance
- New procedures designed and developed based off of findings imperceptible by the human eye
And while digital tools are playing a larger and larger role in audits, the human element will never become obsolete. There are certain elements of the audit process that require a skill level unattainable with technology. Digital tools in an audit will lay the foundation for a human to conduct analysis and evaluation not possible with a machine. Plus, taking these findings and using judgement to make critical decisions is something only a seasoned accountant can do.
The ideal scenario is one in which audit data analytics are utilized to assess risk and pinpoint focus areas. Then, it is on the auditors to shift their focus to higher-level thinking. This evolution can be a tough pill to swallow for some auditors. The reality, however, is that when automation opportunities can be truly groundbreaking when properly utilized. The firm and its clients will benefit greatly from digital tools and datasets that are only attainable when technology and audits come together strategically.
At Ellrich, Neal, Smith & Stohlman, P.A., we are on the cutting-edge of technology. Evaluating where our brain power is more valuable than our digital tools separates us from other forensic accounting firms in Florida. Contact our Palm Beach Gardens, Orlando, or Miami offices to speak with an auditor today.