Technology: A Blessing or a Curse During the Audit by Alan W. Anderson, CPA
The Sixth in a 13-Part Series of "Anderson's Audit Express "
The pace of technology change continues to move at what seems to be nearly the speed of light and shows no real signs of slowing down. What is considered a new technology today is old technology tomorrow. In contrast to the speed of change in technology, consider the speed of change in the audit world. Unfortunately, audit processes and approaches have not changed in what seems to be light years.
Many firms jumped on the technology bandwagon over the past several years but frequently question their return on investment through enhanced efficiency and improved audit effectiveness. Bill Gates is quoted at stating, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” Unfortunately, many firms unknowingly followed Mr. Gates’ second rule and have applied technology to inefficient processes. The end result has been minimal improvement in efficiency and effectiveness, at best. While many firms wanted their technology investment to be a blessing, it just hasn’t turned out that way.
The good news is that is not too late. You can turn the tide and have technology utilization become a tremendous asset in your audit process. The remainder of this article will offer some ideas and suggestions for you to consider that can enhance the benefits of the use of technology in the audit process.