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Is remote auditing really the future?

on 20 March 2024

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Posted by Wayne Pope

Traditionally, the auditing process required auditors to be physically present at client sites, poring over financial records and processes in person.

Obviously, this approach involves significant time and logistical efforts on your part.

By relying on traditional auditing methods, your firm is restricted by geography to only your immediate area of influence.

The further afield your audit team travels, the more it costs, so you are likely only harnessing a small proportion of the possible clients that you could capture.

By constantly exposing your team to travel, or sending them away external to your home office, you are also completely in the dark when it comes to workflow management.

Additionally, if the Covid-19 pandemic taught us anything, relying on the physical presence of your employees shouldn’t be your only option.

Those firms who were relying on traditional methods in 2020 have been struggling ever since – the auditing industry as a whole has seen a 1.5 per cent decline per year on average.

Essentially, auditing firms need to move on from these in-person methods if they’re going to survive and thrive in the digital age.

Why remote auditing makes sense

Remote auditing has become far more popular in recent years, notably after the pandemic.

In 2019, for example, only two per cent of audits were conducted remotely – this jumped to 38 per cent in 2020 and we haven’t seen evidence of a decrease in this trend.

They aren’t just more popular because of pandemic restrictions – they are genuinely more efficient and offer firms far more positives than negatives.

For example:

  • Enhanced flexibility: Remote auditing introduces a flexibility that significantly benefits work-life balance and overall job satisfaction.
  • Innovative edge: Adopting remote auditing showcases your firm's commitment to using technology to improve efficiency and client services. It positions your firm as a forward-thinking leader, eager to adopt practices that add value.
  • Talent magnet: The promise of working with cutting-edge technology and enjoying a flexible, dynamic work environment is highly attractive to talented professionals looking for opportunities that align with these values.

In terms of technology being used by audit firms, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the use of document and information-gathering systems that reduce the workload associated with email communications.

This is likely due to the reduction in friction that this kind of software provides to auditors.

Remote auditing relies on the seamless communication between client and auditor, and the ability to share and edit documents in real-time.

In essence, it uplifts the benefits of being there in person and integrates it into a digital solution so that you can work remotely.

If you are looking for such a solution, Glasscubes might be the one for you.

We offer information-gathering software to accountants, advisers, and auditors to make the possibility of remote auditing a reality.

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.