During a July 6th webinar on how to become an expert analyzer, Morgan Martin, a Senior Associate at Rödl & Partner, shared valuable insights into how her firm has successfully embraced audit data analytics (ADA) technology. Below are excerpts from the webinar.
Firm insights: Audit data analytics with Morgan Martin of Rödl & Partner
What are the key drivers for using audit data analytics at your firm?
We were looking to improve our audit quality and our audit efficiency. Often in our work, we're receiving large sets of data from our clients. And it's difficult to manually dissect that information, identify what's relevant, and what's meaningful to the audit, especially for newer staff. That can become a huge time drain and burden, helping younger staff work through all that data, and teaching them how to look through all the data. We saw analytics as a tool we could implement at every level of the audit and achieve a solution for those problems of efficiency and quality.
What’s holding your firm back from using analytics more?
From our side, it's knowing when to apply analytics. We struggle with moving from the way we've always done things, to seeing a new path.
What approach have you taken to implementing analytics at your firm?
We started by developing a set of key workflows that were held centrally, and then pushed out to all the auditors on our team. And of course, we train staff how to use them. We've also put together a small group of champions who keep working on additional workflows, tailoring improving previous workflows that we've made, and keep up with additional training that's needed. We also monitor utilization - how much each tool within the software is being used – and compare that to where would we like to see more use.
To help encourage utilization, we're looking into new policies and procedures that will help us embed more diverse uses of analytics across all of our audits.
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What training have you had?
I took a half-day Wolters Kluwer TeamMate intensive training. Since then, we've been working with our champions team trying to think about what tools make the most sense for us, and what opportunities we can find in our audits. Since everything with the software is pretty intuitive, extensive training at the staff level hasn't been necessary.
What are some quick wins for firms to start their analytics journey?
Start by taking a look at what you're already doing. When we got started, I was focusing on what happens in every single audit - across all audits - that's relevant to all of our staff, and how that can be done in TeamMate. There certainly is a way – TeamMate has so many functionalities.
Our first quick win was sampling procedures. Once you have people working within the software, they realize that they can play around with it on their own time if they want to. We built on that first quick win, and people being interested in the software with standardized workflows teaching different tools in TeamMate Analytics, and even stepping out to specific procedures as a response to risks or just as a standard procedure.
Interested in learning more about how leveraging Audit Data Analytics (ADA) can provide your clients with insights from teamwork, speed, history, probabilities, consequences, and trust?