Auditors need to adapt and constantly innovate. The auditing profession has challenges ahead and must embrace those challenges or be left behind.
There is a series of highly diverse opinions on the current and future position of audit.
In countries where audit is still developing, it is valued more than in countries where audit has been long established.
Audit should provide insight
Developed countries hold strong views that the audit and assurance process is important. However, there are concerns over whether it is timely and whether it offers sufficient insights as to where businesses could have done better.
Investors want an audit, but they want an audit that is responsive to these concerns. This is prompting questions over its future.
Enhanced auditor reporting has been received well in the UK, and is now being rolled out elsewhere.
But this evolution of audit could go further. Audit should evolve to allow auditors to provide more valuable insights about a wider range of measures.
Investors want insights on how a company could have addressed risks better or where they could have increased profits sustainably.
Efficient and timely audit
Business leaders expect information in real time but investors wait months for the audit report. Auditors need to look at how they can use technology to deliver a high quality audit in a more efficient and timely manner
For jurisdictions with a long history of audit the future of assurance lies in looking at a broad range of data.
In contrast, those countries with a shorter history of audit require a stable body of rules to enable them to maximise the benefits.
Global rule makers for audit and assurance should realise that one pace of development will not suit all.
"Audit is not dying but its successful future means innovation and adaption to today’s global, interconnected and digital world."
Why was audit invented?
Audit developed to provide trust and confidence in financial information that underpins a vibrant economy. That is just as relevant today as it always has been.
But the information people look to trust, and the way businesses compile it, has changed and so audit needs to evolve. As a profession, auditors need to be bold and embrace innovation.