Mindset Shift to Digital Audit – The Future Role of the Auditor 

November 11, 2022

What will an auditor's skillset look like in ten years? Part Accountant, Part Technologist and Part Data Analyst?  

At the current rate of digitalization, and with the ever-increasing use of data in the audit, it is easy to see some of the directional trends including.  

- digital literacy,

- data literacy,

- critical thinking,

- collaboration.  

So how does the auditor of the future working within a digital audit differ from the auditor of today?  


  • How does the Digital Audit methodology differentiate from traditional methodologies  
  • Other Key Differentiators for the Digital Audit Methodology  
  • Cultural Change  

How does the Digital Audit methodology differentiate from traditional methodologies

A well-designed digital platform fosters new levels of audit quality by fusing progressive technologies, such as data analytics and artificial intelligence, directly into the audit engagement workflow.  

This way, the right technologies are delivered at the right point in the engagement and auditor learning curves are reduced. Auditors are better prepared to apply these technologies in ways that enhance the quality of their work.

This can be applied in areas throughout the audit including:  

Risk Assessment

  • Having a seamless exchange of information between the client and the audit team results in less time and effort spent obtaining the client’s initial explanations.  
  • Working directly with the data auditors can drill down to efficiently identify unusual items and craft well-informed inquiries. Freeing time for critical thinking and challenging client assertions.

Designing Responses to Risk

  • Higher quality and more effective risk assessment techniques enable a more focused and effective response.  This allows auditors to key in on specifically identified risks rather than simply completing standardized workpapers.

Substantive Testing

  • Traditional testing can be replaced with superior techniques, or it becomes automated.  
  • This includes highly efficient whole-population testing, as well as analysis of populations allowing auditors to identify and focus on unusual or higher risk items another.

Other Key Differentiators for the Digital Audit Methodology

Automation technologies are applied to instantly create standardized workprograms, and augmented intelligence is used to perform initial analyses of data. With the routine, administrative, and mechanical aspects of the audit becoming automated, staff no longer need to spend their early careers performing tedious manual tasks.  

Instead, they are empowered to think critically and move more quickly into higher-value activities. Staff are challenged to think differently and are finally able to break free from a same as last year checklist mentality to the audit, changing the perception of what it means to be an audit professional.

Some key differentiators which enhance quality and save time are

  • Workprograms  
  • Digital Audit methodology  
  • Interdependencies  
  • Safeguards and quality checks  

Cultural Change

This isn’t about adding discrete technologies into the existing process. The whole process is impacted by leveraging data to creating a digital client experience.

Much of the current process must be rationalised and automated to free capacity to deliver greater value.

All too often, partners and staff focus on technology solely as an efficiency driver – crunching spreadsheets to support business cases. And certainly, it can save hours.

But more importantly, digital technology is providing differentiation between firms and competitive advantage.  

We’ve already seen, higher growth firms are more pervasively adopting technology.  

How are they achieving higher growth? They charge their clients more, and they attract new clients.  

And firms are using technology as a way to attract talent. Inflo has been leveraged by   more than 1 UK firm in their recruitment to showcase how the learning experience in their firm is more progressive than others.

For a deeper understanding of how firms are advancing their innovation efforts, and how digitalization and data is driving a change in accounting download our free resources.

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