AI — Making Supercharged Superheroes Out of Auditors

Artificial intelligence is changing the role of auditors in terms of both what they do and how they do it. Here’s why…

Auditors as superheroes

Some organisations have kept AI at arm’s length, in part due to an acute lack of trust within their walls and among their customers — not helped by the current absence of any AI-specific legal framework (which we’ll get to in a second). But as it becomes increasingly difficult to simultaneously maintain distance from AI-powered technologies and remain competitive, auditors will need to swoop in and save the day. And these caped crusaders will do so by providing businesses and their firms with the assurances needed to step into the future free from worry over (and I say this tongue in cheek) “villainous AI”.

Supercharged auditing powers

Ironically, AI also has a major role to play in transforming the audit process. At EY, we’re turning to AI — alongside other innovations like blockchain, automation and even drone tech — for a better quality, smarter, faster, cheaper, and more rigorous audit process.

Any Kryptonite to watch out for?

Sure there is, but it mostly relates to technical stuff. Take the ‘black box’ effect (briefly discussed in my last blog about trusted AI), which is often cited as the greatest challenge to auditors. The thing is, as long as organisations make sure their auditors are properly trained to measure and assess AI governance for audits, this should pose no real problem. So, at this stage, there’s really no use in auditors worrying excessively that Kryptonite will foil their “world-saving” mission (again, tongue in cheek)!

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Catriona Campbell

Behavioural psychologist; AI-quisitive; EY UK&I Client Technology & Innovation Officer. Views my own & don't represent EY’s position. catrionacampbell.com