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Pathfinders in Audit Technologies

August 16, 2019
By: Mike Spilker

We are pathfinders in audit and assurance work here at HintonBurdick. We utilize our team’s depth of knowledge from as far back as 1985 as a base to refer to as we travel forward on the path to find a better approach to our audit.  Some things have not changed over the years; however, in our fast paced financial and technological environment, we have seen many changes and expect to see even more in the not so distant future. Over the years, we have learned to embrace cutting-edge technologies in our industry to bring additional value to our customers. We open new perspectives by exploring new skills and experiences. Three things we have embraced recently is our PBC list software, CCH ProSystem audit software and remote auditing.

 PBC List Software – Suralink:

Auditors send a list of required information, referred to as a prepared by client (PBC) list, which your organization needs to gather for the audit each year.  HintonBurdick utilizes Suralink workflow software for this process.  Suralink is a web based application and a browser based system with no software to install.  It combines a file portal, request list, and workflow features.  It provides a much more transparent and efficient way to request and receive audit information each year.  No more questions about what you have provided and what the auditor has received! Audit document requests are fulfilled simply by dragging and dropping files from your computer onto the request. Suralink’s data in transmission and data at rest is encrypted with AES-256 bit encryption (the same as online banking). It’s extremely secure!

HintonBurdick and Suralink combine to provide a smoother, less time consuming audit (the auditors will leave sooner!!!!!)

CCH ProSystem audit software:

It is easy to get comfortable with your current software and resist any temptation to change; however, over the years we have learned to embrace cutting-edge technologies in our industry to maintain our competitive edge and to bring additional value to our customers.  Recently, we changed our audit software platform and have realized several advantages, one of which is the ability to work remotely. Our audit staff are able to check out work papers remotely and complete audit sections instantaneously just as if they were on-site with the other staff working in the field.

Remote Auditing:

Auditors have been working on-site since the dawn of accounting. This approach works well; but then, so did 13 column paper general ledgers back in the day. Many audit firms are moving towards remote auditing since there are time and cost considerations for both the auditor and the client to consider with auditing on-site. Technologies in paperless document management and automated access are driving remote auditing abilities. Our CCH ProSystem audit software and our Suralink PBC list software also facilitates remote auditing. This has led HintonBurdick on the path to implementing remote auditing.

Over the last couple of years, as we have strived to meet some of our objectives through remote auditing, we have noted that remote auditing’s benefits are based on our staff’s ability to audit from any location, even multiple locations simultaneously. Auditors can work from the office and collaborate with team members in the field. Having one individual in the field who is assigned to coordinate with remote auditors has proved to be effective. Less travel time translates to more time for analysis. Utilizing remote auditors has enabled HintonBurdick to provide more insightful and meaningful information and cost effective audits to our clients that are geographically far from our office but technologically closer than ever before.

As we move forward into the future of technology and more remote audit work, HintonBurdick will remain focused on our objectives. We believe in partnering with you to gain a thorough understanding of your organization and responding with a thoughtful audit approach that utilizes that depth of understanding. We strive to lift our clients by building trusting and friendly relationships that encourage open communication and information exchange.  We anticipate that on-site meetings will continue to occur, though typically less frequently, and will be much more important and meaningful as we move forward into this new era of auditing. Our relationship will remain strong, perhaps even improve with this efficiency. Face-to-face time will always be beneficial but auditors will be freed from long stints as on-site guests. What’s not to like about having fewer auditors in your work areas and still getting the audits completed timely!

With remote auditing we incur fewer expenditures per remote audit. Travel expenses are avoided and billable hours are more efficiently managed. This provides a more cost effective service delivery and you will ultimately avoid audit projects exceeding projected timetables and budgets. All parties remain satisfied in their fiscal relationship.

You know, there are some things in life I just don’t want to see changed, like good old face to face communication; however, the utilization of remote auditing has further enabled us to deliver the depth and breadth of our firm’s resources to our audit clients and is proving to be an advantage for all involved.

Please contact one of our audit partners: Chad Atkinson, McKay Hall, Steve Palmer or Mike Spilker, if you have any questions about how HintonBurdick’s audit technologies can work for your organization.

 

 

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