Adapting Auditing for A Pandemic and Beyond.

20 May 2021

By Sarah Reilly ACA, Audit Executive

Adapting Auditing for A Pandemic

Most auditors will tell you that one of the things they enjoy most about their jobs is spending time in clients’ businesses. Taking the time to understand their products, processes, people, and even the Sunday evening routine of checking the traffic hotspots and planning the route for the Monday morning commute is ingrained in our minds. So, what do you do when everything changes, a pandemic breaks out and visiting clients is no longer possible?

At WR Partners, pausing our audit work until we could re-enter our clients’ premises was not an option. Fortunately, our IT systems were already set up for the switch to remote working, with our business using paperless files and cloud-based software for several years, with a few minor adjustments, our virtual service was ready to go. By using a range of video calling software, we could match the platforms our clients were working with and our team were easily able to keep in touch when working together. A suite of secure data transfer options allows us to get the large volumes of information needed for a remote audit from our clients safely and simply.

Looking to a post-pandemic world, is the current model the future? And moving forward, how much of a factor should location be in choosing your auditor? There is no denying that physical visits still build relationships better than video calls, but the old times (and costs) of placing multiple audit staff on-site for weeks at a time, tying up clients’ employees, may well be over. The rapid development and implementation of remote auditing processes, which still give the same quality of evidence, allows us to consider a hybrid model for the future, benefiting clients and staff alike. Lockdown isn’t something that anyone wants to repeat, but it has shown that there are many efficiencies to be made and opportunities for those that are willing to take them.

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