As we have spoken to partners in the accounting profession, we hear a common refrain, “The regulators [e.g. PCAOB] are requiring more inspections of our independence process and more rigor to the inspections.” The historical answer is to add more people to do the inspections, but as we know, this can be "a fool’s errand" as we most likely have budget pressures. This leaves us reactive, behind, and unpredictable. How do we stay ahead of the regulators?
The proper response is to make our policies more robust, our audit population larger, increase the frequency, and dive deeper with our questions – all while not increasing our budgeted spend. As the requirements have increased exponentially over the past decade, our budgets may have increased a few percentage points.We believe organizations require two capabilities that are traditionally missing – cognitive computing and process orchestration. By using these two capabilities, organizations bend the cost curve downwards for a given inspection. In turn, more inspections that are also more rigorous can be applied.
How does it work? Cognitive computing and process orchestration enable the following:
- Automatic classification of documents occur as they are loaded into the cognitive system and then the important data is extracted. Neither the user nor the reviewer is required to fill out paperwork. Instead, they can focus on their jobs by allowing the system to reduce the work.
- Cognitive computing continuously learns, based on trends and patterns. Thus, the system can refine the process and extract information better with time – never satisfied with the status quo.
- Through process orchestration, the users are asked for only what is required to be provided based on their specific situation. This approach reduces the “noise” in the system.
- Instead of reviewing all information manually, the system compares the data extracted from the cognitive engine to what has been disclosed through the personal independence disclosure process. If it matches appropriately, no one is required to look at it (although they can if they wish). Instead, the reviewers can focus on exceptions – lowering the time to administrate the process.
To conclude, the automation of the inspection process allows the accounting profession to meet the increasing demands of the regulators, decrease the cost of compliance, and increase user satisfaction with the process. Do you want to learn more? Please contact us on how we have solved this challenge for many in the accounting industry.