Top auditing trends to watch out for in 2024

January 24, 2024

The auditing industry is bracing for some impactful changes. This year promises to bring significant advancements and shifts, reshaping our current understanding of modern auditing practices. From the advances in Generative AI to our escape from outdated desktop software, we will see innovation move beyond being just a buzzword and become the new norm.  

Here are 5 major industry trends to watch for throughout 2024 and beyond!

  1. Generative AI in audit and the shift to cloud-based platforms

2024 is shaping up to be a year of exploration in the world of auditing, particularly in the realm of Generative AI. While this technology has shown great promise in other sectors, the audit industry is still in the early stages of discovering truly meaningful applications. Let’s see what the year brings us!  

In other news, auditors are gradually transitioning from legacy desktop software to cloud-based solutions that offer a more adaptable and integrated environment. This platform is ideal for implementing and taking advantage of Generative AI developments (time will tell!), automation, and new opportunities to leverage data. Shifting away from desktop shackles will set the stage for a more dynamic, data-driven audit landscape, where innovative applications can be developed and refined within the rigorous standards of auditing.

  1. Large US Vendors bringing new solutions to the market

A lot of big names in US auditing have made promises over time of new, exciting solutions. This year could be 'make or break' for those promises.  

The industry has been awaiting not just innovation, but also to see if these giants can truly deliver. The unveiling of these solutions has been hyped for years, and their debut could mark a significant moment - either these long-awaited solutions revolutionize the audit industry or they end up being the push needed for firms to pivot towards more progressive, data-driven alternatives. Either way, the landscape is about to get interesting.

  1. Integration magic in auditing

We’re seeing another major shift in the auditing landscape, with firms embracing an ecosystem approach. Think of it like a super-efficient digital assembly line, where best-in-class solutions from different providers snap together seamlessly.  

Auditors are looking for tools that play well with others, prioritizing API capabilities and openness for integration. We’re likely to see cloud-native tech companies linking arms to offer out-of-the-box integrations, posing a real head-scratcher for those legacy giants. Will they open up for integration or stick to their all-in-one processes? This integration wave is set to redefine how we think about audit technology – more connected, more collaborative, and way more powerful.

  1. Tackling talent shortages

The talent crunch in the auditing industry remains a significant challenge. This has been intensified by recent industry growth, an aging workforce, and increased regulatory scrutiny, leading to a demand that currently outstrips supply. Firms continue to feel the pinch of a talent gap, which could limit strategic moves and growth potential.  

However, there's growing recognition that simply aiming for efficiency isn't enough. The focus is shifting towards leveraging technology and innovation to not only attract but also retain talent. Firms are now looking at how tech can enhance employee experience and support career development, making themselves more attractive as employers. This shift is key to not just bridging the talent gap but creating a more dynamic and appealing profession for future auditors.

  1. The rise of M&A

Get ready for a year of mergers and acquisitions in the auditing sphere. Larger firms are eyeing up smaller ones, drawn to the allure of advanced technology. This move is partly a response to private equity investment in the sector, leading to both new investments and acquisition sprees by PE-backed firms. This trend is pushing all firms, backed or independent, to up their game across technology and innovation. It's a dynamic race to stay ahead, transform business models, and leverage technology for competitive advantage.

In tandem with this, the industry is witnessing a shift towards a corporate leadership model. Firms, especially those backed by private equity, are moving away from the traditional partnership structure in favor of this corporate leadership model, including roles like CEO and COO. This transition is seen as a way to enable quicker decision-making and more consistent strategic execution, particularly in response to evolving client needs, talent challenges, and the fast pace of technological change in the industry.

Here's to a year of progress and exciting shifts in the auditing sector!

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