The Big 4 accounting firms have been using audit software for years, but this is now trickling down through larger practices such as ours towards the smaller firms. In time, I think only the smallest firms will stick with paper-based auditing.
For us it was all about achieving efficiency gains and doing away with unnecessary paper. Everyone in the practice already had a computer so it seemed logical to use them as much as we could. Since we were using Wolters Kluwer software for both document management and practice management, CCH Audit Automation was a natural choice.
At the end of the day, a large part of any audit is capturing and recording information, so it makes sense to use a computer to help with that process and to manage the documents that you collect and create. The skills you need to conduct an audit don’t really change – you still have to have that professional scepticism – but the software has helped us modernise and become more efficient. Auditing is a notoriously paper-intensive activity and carrying a laptop is definitely a lot easier than lugging around files and boxes.
We’ve been using the software for about two and a half years and initially had to invest time setting up new clients. However we are now seeing a return on our investment as a lot information gets carried forward from year to year. All we’ll need to do is conduct a detailed review and update where necessary to make sure it’s still relevant. That’s an obvious efficiency gain over a manual system where you’re starting from scratch each year.
When we conducted audits manually we used an amended version of PCAS, but we now use the standard audit methodology built into CCH Audit Automation and we’re perfectly happy with that.
The update to the Clarified ISA version of the software was smooth and we’re very happy with the way the system is running for us. Because of the new requirements, audits are now taking a little longer but not because of any issue with the CCH Audit Automation system itself.
Everyone here has adapted well to the software and they’ve been able to pick it up very quickly. There have been no problems at all – it’s been a very positive change.