Why AI can loosen stranglehold of Big Four on audits
There’s been a lot of talk about breaking up the effective monopoly of the Big Four firms and nationalising the audit market. The pages of the Financial Times were dominated by this last week.
The fact is, thanks to major technological advances, the time is now perfect to loosen this stranglehold and let the other firms have their slice.
What I’m really talking about is Artificial Intelligence (AI), which offers such an enormous opportunity when it comes to audits.
It’s a particularly pertinent topic for IRIS as we’ve just launched a new IRIS AI family of products, starting with MindBridge AI Auditor.
The Big Four have effectively got the monopoly on the auditing market because they are able to retain the resources required to deliver large audits. Auditing has traditionally been a hugely manual process, requiring time, effort and resource to provide a true and fair view of company accounts. Putting it simply, the smaller firms haven’t had the resources, expertise and lack the required liability insurance to provide auditing services.
Using AI products such as AI Auditor is a game changer. Smaller firms can now look at every single transaction using AI, so they know they’re not missing anything. It uses every single audit rule known to man to spot and stop patterns, trends, risks and frauds.
It gives accountants the confidence in what they’re looking at and cuts the time it takes to do it. It’s like having a digital in-built senior auditor.
There has been some media attention on in-house AI projects at members of the Big Four over the last year or so, demonstrating that they recognise the value of adopting and applying AI in their operations. Now IRIS is bringing it to high street practices in the UK so other firms don’t have to build it themselves.
AI Auditor is capable of reviewing 100% of transactions in minutes, producing rich, statistically sound results in minutes, and it identifies commonly made human errors. It also provides ratings to flag up the most severe risks it has found.
No matter what size of accountancy practice you have, MindBridge AI Auditor provides the answer if you’re struggling with the question of how to credibly demonstrate you understand what’s going on in your business.
This brilliant technology means smaller firms can compete – and the Big Four’s grip on auditing can be loosened.
In this new digital accountancy economy, every size of practice now can thrive – evolving beyond compliance services to capitalise on new opportunities and generate more business. Technology innovation is exciting news and this is a story we’ll be watching closely as it unfolds.