Audit software tools: Solving firms’ top 5 pain points

Andy Newnham - June 16th, 2021

How are audit software tools solving problems for audit firms everywhere?

In my work as Engine B’s Ecosystem Manager, I talk to a range of audit firms of all shapes and sizes on a daily basis. Time and time again I hear the same gripes and problems repeated. These are exactly the types of problem we are supporting the market to solve with our audit software tools. Let’s take a look at the top 5 pain points Engine B’s audit software is tackling and how:

1. Too many ERP systems

“Financial data looks different depending on what ERP system the client uses, meaning we have to translate it every time.”

Whether your client uses Oracle, SAP, Xero, Microsoft or anything in between, every ERP system is different. If you connect directly to that client system, or more likely receive a file from them taken straight from the system, you’ll need to reshape and reformat it before you can analyse the data for the audit. Engine B’s Integration Engine, powered by the Audit Common Data Model, allows you to receive client data in any format (file or direct connection to the ERP) and convert it to a standard view. This means you can see data in the same way, client after client, system after system; giving you more time for analysing and interpreting the data, rather than wrangling it!

2. Different tools require different formats

“The same data needs to be reformatted for different tools.”

There are several audit and accounting-specific analytics tools in the market but they all require data in different formats and quantities to ensure accuracy. It would make life a lot simpler if the data you received from the client was ready for these audit software tools! That’s why our Common Data Model has been designed with audit firms, is open-source, and is deliberately analytic tool-agnostic. Our aim is for the EB Integration Engine to give you the data you need, for the analytic you choose.

3. Incomplete data

“When I begin analysing the data I find it’s incomplete and I need to go back and ask for more.”

A lot of current audit software tools only take data from the General Ledger, and even that data may be a subset or sample. This means that the auditor may not have enough information to complete their fieldwork. It seems a bit silly that the right data is in the ERP system but tools are only taking a small part of it. That’s why our EB Integration Engine will ingest and standardise not just the full General Ledger data but all the sub-ledgers too.

4. Resources

“I can’t compete with bigger audit firms because I spend ages wrangling data, rather than focusing on providing quality service to the client.”

Another typical gripe is the amount of time auditors and audit teams spend on sorting out client data, either in Excel or other accounting software tools. As mentioned above, some of the biggest issues are around the format of the data and the data quality. By transforming extracted data into a common format based on the Audit Common Data Model, the EB Integration Engine gives you data in the same format. This means your auditors and their teams can concentrate on the added value they can give to clients through providing better services, better analytics and an all-round better audit. The next time you pitch for a new client against an audit firm with a bigger technology team you can rest assured if you’re using Engine B you can compete on a more level playing field.

5. Limited first-hand experience

“Existing technology providers don’t understand what being an auditor feels like.”

The benefit of a number of innovate technologies is the ability to apply them across services, industries and use cases. The downside can be the lack of understanding of those specific areas. At Engine B we are industry-led, and by that we mean we discuss our work constantly with firms and auditors. In fact, our Audit Common Data Model was the result of 13 firms’ painstaking input alongside ourselves. We work in collaboration with a number of firms across the market from big 4 to those with a handful of partners, both in the UK and across the world. Our collaborative approach means we hear honest opinions and insights into what auditors want from technology alongside the input of our own staff with audit experience.

Made by auditors, for auditors

Getting data from clients doesn’t have to be painful, and analysing it doesn’t have to be a minefield of different audit software tools and incompatibility issues. At Engine B, we are working closely with the audit industry and existing technology providers to support auditors in creating tools that work together. The result? Audit technology made by auditors, for auditors.
If you have questions or ideas you’d like to share with us, we want to hear from you – the more problems we hear the more we’ll try to solve them!

How is Engine B doing things differently? Download our ultimate comparison guide to audit technology to find out.

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