Back to blog

Accountants – It’s time to centralise your audit trails!

on 26 February 2024

Tags: ,

Posted by Wayne Pope

Accountants across the world are centralising their audit trails using cloud-based technology.

As you no doubt know, gone are the days when an auditor would simply keep a paper trail of their actions and findings.

(In fact, this is common across all accountancy practices – paper-based processes are outdated and unreliable).

From an auditor’s perspective, a data audit trail gives you clarity on several critical aspects of data management:

  • Who accessed, altered, or relocated financial records?
  • When were these financial records modified?
  • How was access to these records obtained?
  • Did the individual have the proper authorisation to access this data?
  • Did someone with the requisite authority approve these changes?
  • Was there any misuse of access privileges?

So, with all this important information on the line, can you risk continuing to use paper documents?

Isn’t it time to embrace digital solutions?

The problem with decentralisation

A decentralised audit process poses several challenges, particularly in terms of document searchability and the visibility of the paper trail.

When documents are scattered across multiple physical locations (or stored in various digital systems without a unified access point), finding specific documents can become a time-consuming and inefficient process.

You end up navigating a maze of filing cabinets or random digital folders, significantly slowing down your work and increasing your risk of overlooking critical information.

It also complicates the tracking of document history and revisions.

It becomes harder to ascertain who accessed or modified documents and when they did so, which is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the audit process.

Without a clear audit trail, it is challenging to establish accountability or to reconstruct the sequence of events leading to a financial transaction.

This lack of visibility can also increase the risk of fraud and errors going undetected, undermining your ability to provide accurate audits.

In essence, the decentralisation of documents hinders the efficiency and accuracy of your audits, making it difficult to uphold the standards of transparency and accountability required in financial auditing.

Why centralisation is beneficial

On the other hand, centralising documents on cloud-based software boosts the efficiency and effectiveness of your accounting and financial audits.

By consolidating all financial records and relevant documents in one accessible online location, you can easily retrieve and review the necessary information without the delays associated with physical document handling.

This streamlined access reduces the time you spend searching for documents, allowing you to focus more on analysing the data and identifying discrepancies or areas of concern.

Also, cloud-based systems (like Glasscubes) come with advanced security features that protect sensitive information against unauthorised access, further ensuring the integrity of the audit process.

Additionally, real-time updates and collaborative tools within these platforms enable you to work more cohesively, even from remote locations, fostering a more dynamic and productive audit team.

Why does searchability matter?

Improving the "searchability" of data and documents could profoundly enhance your workflow.

With advanced search capabilities, you can quickly locate specific transactions, supporting documents, and historical data without the need for manually sifting through piles of paperwork or unorganised digital records.

This immediacy in accessing relevant information not only accelerates the audit process but also allows for more thorough analysis and cross-referencing of data, reducing the likelihood of errors or oversight.

Additionally, it enables you to respond more quickly to any queries or discrepancies that may arise.

Ultimately, searchability minimises the time spent on administrative tasks, freeing you and your team to concentrate on more complex aspects of the audit, such as risk assessment and control evaluation.

If you are ready to bring centralisation into your audit strategy, consider Glasscubes.

Our information-gathering and data-collection software allows you to search for documents that have been collated within our software, check off tasks as you complete them and gives you peace of mind knowing that your documents are safely stored.

Glasscubes can help you with the digital transition , click here to find out more.



About this author: Wayne Pope

Technical Director at Glasscubes. With over 30 years experience in the online software industry, Wayne brings an in depth technical expertise in collaborative tools, technology, and best practices.