The one constant is change: The audit profession is undergoing significant transformation. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated key trends within the industry and pushed auditors everywhere to innovate to continue to deliver a better audit experience.
Audit Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer John Farrell recently participated in an Accounting Today panel to discuss the impact of the pandemic on the profession and the future of audit. Here are some insights from the conversation:
The pandemic's impact on audit
The pandemic impacted the entire audit profession. It created increased urgency to adopt new ways of working, evolve our culture and adopt the latest technology.
Trends that are here to stay
The degree to which the virtual environment and other changes continue after the pandemic will be driven by client needs and technological capabilities. Yet we know certain trends are here to stay.
The auditor of the future
The role for auditors is evolving based on the need for trust and assurance. Auditors are being called on to assure ESG issues, non-GAAP metrics and technologies — the digitized controls — that collect, process and store data, such as blockchain ledgers. Trust and the increasing use of technology are driving changes in the work we do, how we do it and how we upskill our professionals.
As the audit profession evolves, so must auditors. Next-gen auditors should focus on key growth skills and opportunities. First, understanding accounting and auditing standards of excellence remains critical. Second, professionals need to understand novel and emerging technologies. Finally, knowing how to interface with clients and other team members and using new techniques to solve challenges will set them apart as the profession continues its transformation.