Auditors have always been prized on their ability to interpret data and create a full picture from the information at their disposal.
However, as technology transforms the audit landscape, a greater emphasis is being placed on the auditor’s ability to deliver deeper and more valuable insights. Modern technology has empowered auditors with the means to compile and interpret data at large scale, allowing them to provide stakeholders with more intricate information and demonstrate the value their services bring to an organisation.
Indeed, in an increasingly complex environment, businesses want greater insight into their operational activity at every stage. Subsequently, audit departments are moving towards data mining, visualisation and cloud-based audit software to deliver better results and dive deeper into an organisation’s data.
How can data visualisation transform your audit?
At a large scale, data visualisation provides a quick and easy way to investigate information, as well as identify underlying trends within the data, that may have been missed by the human eye.
Through cloud-based audit software, businesses and auditors have access to incredibly sophisticated, virtual data architecture and data visualisation tools that provide them with the means to analyse data on a granular level. With these tools, auditors can identify underlying trends, spot irregular activity and drill down into the data at any time.
Cloud-based data visualisation also helps auditors to bring the analysis of the data closer to the decision-makers, enabling them to truly see – and appreciate – the relationships between data sets, and allowing them to make strategic, data-driven decisions about their business. However, to get the most out of data visualisation, techniques, tools and technologies should be combined with the existing audit process – something the auditor can utilise to extract more meaningful insight.
How can cloud-based data interrogation help deliver deeper business insights?
Cloud-based data interrogation on the other hand, focuses on identifying potential fraudulent or malicious activity, enabling auditors to clearly see activity around points of weakness within a business.
Rather than randomly selecting transactions to check for unusual and/or fraudulent activity, cloud-based data interrogation software can pick larger samples. This removes the risk of human-error and unconscious bias, allowing for highly accurate analysis over a greater proportion of data. For auditors, analysing a series of transactions manually is inefficient and introduces human error. However, with cloud-based data interrogation, auditors have a powerful and highly accurate tool to identify and fight against fraudulent activity.
For example, if a series of transactions occur at unusual times of the day or there is strange user activity present in the reports, the cloud-based data interrogation software can isolate these events and flag them up appropriately. Under normal circumstances, these occurrences may have been missed, but with cloud-based data interrogation software, auditors can ensure that activity across the business can all be accounted for.
Through data visualisation and cloud-based data interrogation techniques and software, auditors can extract vital information from the data available, as well as spot inconsistencies and anomalies that might influence a business’ bottom line. But ultimately, the skill of the auditor remains essential. Data visualisation and cloud-based data interrogation should serve to enhance the service of the auditor and help to clearly convey their expertise to clients.
To find out more about how data visualisation and cloud-based interrogation can help deliver valuable business insights to your clients, download our ebook today.