The impact of COVID-19 on audit processes
Mitchell Charlesworth are committed to developing our audit approach and have invested in innovative software to facilitate both audit quality and the audit experience for our clients. Whilst we emphasise that conducting our core audit fieldwork onsite would always be the preference, these advances have enabled us to adjust well to the new way of working and we have adopted remote auditing where our risk assessment has deemed this an appropriate method of gaining quality audit evidence.
All our audits are paperless, using audit software to plan, deliver and document our audit work. As such, we are able to work as a team offsite effectively, including the review process.
Video conferencing platforms
All employees have access to Microsoft Teams which has enabled audit meetings to proceed, along with maintaining regular contact with the audit team whilst the audit work is being carried out. Likewise, we have maintained our current audit time tables with client meetings via Zoom, Skype and Teams.
Use of these platforms has also given us the ability to conduct appropriately planned audit procedures, such as walkthrough of systems, stock counts and access to data via screen share.
Data requests and Inflo
We see the real added value for adapting to remote auditing, is in our cloud-based information request portal, Inflo. This software allows us to give transparency to the audit team and our clients, whether that be in relation to information requests, status of these requests, and workflow. This visualisation has already proven to be a welcome change for our clients.
This system also allows us to access to 100% of accounting entries through the data exchange upload meaning we can plan our samples and instigate requests remotely and efficiently. As such, we are working more collaboratively with clients on any device, with any accounting software, and from anywhere.
As part of Inflo, we are able to interrogate the full accounting dataset. This enables us to both address our risk assessment and allow for identification of higher risk entries to include in our audit samples.
This has been beneficial whilst remote working; facilitating information flow for all parties, and enabling risk based selection of samples. We are also able to integrate this into our testing of the control environment, and use the tools to highlight abnormalities in postings to management.
As we adapt to this new way of working, we have drawn upon the strengths of the Kreston network by collaborating with colleagues to share best practice and ensure our audit quality is not compromised.