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Audit Automation: Is it time to break free from repetitive tasks?

April 10, 2023

Audit automation should no longer be a choice. It should be a necessity.

Audit Automation vs. Manual Auditing

Practice makes perfect”. We’ve all heard this phrase and, at some point, have probably tried convincing ourselves it's always true at some point. It might be true if you’re practising drums, cycling in Amsterdam, or trying to memorize a song's lyrics by heart.

However, is it the same when it comes to auditing? Does the routine of performing manual audit procedures make it perfect over time? Or does perfection actually come via audit automation?

Audit Automation drastically reduces repetitive work

Junior auditors; how much of your day is taken up by repetitive work? An hour? A few hours? MORE? So much of auditors’ valuable time is wasted due to inefficiency and mundane tasks. It’s time to get to the root of this issue and release the pressure of repetition while auditors remain in control.

Performing repetitive tasks on an Excel sheet isn’t usually considered the most fun thing to do with your day. Boredom often sets in which can evolve into a dangerous lack of motivation, mistakes, feeling like a “robot”, or even career shifts! Do not underestimate the impact of repetition. I repeat; do not underestimate the impact of repetition. 

The question is: how can we replace the dullness of repetition with joy? Let’s figure the answer out by breaking down this challenge, highlighting what auditors love most about their jobs and discussing how firms can improve these workflows.

Growth & Development made possible with Audit Automation

Almost every auditor focuses on new and innovative technology and automation in auditing. Based on various conversations we’ve had with auditors (and ex-auditors), they expressed how vital it is to always understand the big picture and the small details; “It is not an easy task safeguarding the public interest”.

Auditors’ skill sets and talents e.g. unquenchable curiosity and professional scepticism, have to be utilized and upgraded in order for them to be satisfied, and for firms to achieve greater results. In simple words, the ultimate goal is to remove the burden of repetition on auditors, increase their sense of productivity, and allow them to pursue the unique and fulfilling tasks that motivate them.

How can we reach that goal?

Automate to scale your impact and focus on what truly matters! 

Automation will never take over an auditor's role, it will enhance it. Audit automation gives auditors more time and energy to add value and focus on what they love most – analyzing exceptions and advising clients.

Automation transforms inefficient, error-prone, and labor-intensive processes into efficient and error-free results. This is why firms consider automation and look for new and standardized audit workflows. However, it’s also crucial to maintain a flexible way of working to meet the individual needs of clients; call it the 'standardization versus agility paradigm'.

To elaborate, on one side of the spectrum, some firms opt for the most standardized approach possible, maintaining universal and regulated process flows with little-to-no customization. At the opposite end of the spectrum sit firms that highly customize their processes based on their clients’ needs and requests.

Standard processes can indeed accelerate execution and speed up the decision-making process. However, the world keeps moving, new processes evolve, and audit clients have various needs that require flexibility in providing solutions and execution.

Processes should not only be set once and never be refined. Ultimately, you want to reach balanced standard process flows that would accelerate your firm’s agility instead of harming it, especially in a tech-savvy marketplace; balance is key.

“We are always looking for ways to streamline tasks that are labour-intensive, such as matching invoices and tying together working papers. We have often heard from teams across the country that there had to be a better way to perform some of this work. As we delved into the many use cases to see where technology and audit automation could assist with these tasks.”

Paul Vetrone, Director of Audit Transformation & Innovation at BDO Canada

Is Audit Automation key for breaking free from repetitive tasks?

In a nutshell; yes, we think it is time for auditors to break free from unnecessary pressure and get the right audit automation tools to enjoy what they love most. It’s time to replace repetition with intelligent, work-life-changing technologies that auditors will love.

At the same time, creating standardized yet agile workflows is crucial for audit firms to accelerate this automation process while keeping clients satisfied.


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