Dynamic Audit Solution (DAS): Built by auditors for auditors

Today’s auditors in public accounting face myriad demands. Regulators and standard setters require auditors to adhere and comply, clients want more quality, value-added services, and firms need auditors to work both in and on the business. Auditors must navigate competing priorities while still meeting deadlines, producing and performing at a high-level, managing and training staff, and growing the practice.

As a CPA with nearly 20 years' experience serving in roles including a Big 4 auditor, industry controller and a firm advisory leader, I know these demands first-hand. And I, like so many of my audit peers, have questioned how technological innovation could not only alleviate some of these demands but also benefit the firm and the client. Specifically, how can technologies including automation, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning allow us to streamline processes, provide greater insights and have higher value conversations with clients? How can we deliver quality that is felt by our clients in a way that is effective, efficient and even exciting?

These are just some of the questions the Dynamic Audit Solution (DAS) sets out to answer. This comprehensive, end-to-end cloud-based solution is built by auditors, for auditors. Its transformative methodology was developed by the AICPA, in partnership with leading firms and audit practitioners, to enhance the efficiency, quality and client-value of financial statement audits through a risk-focused, data-driven approach. Built on the Caseware Cloud platform, DAS features guided workflows, real-time collaboration and a fully integrated methodology from start to finish to support an enhanced auditor and client experience.

DAS was launched commercially this past summer to a group of early adopting firms – those willing and able to embrace change and be at the forefront of audit evolution—and feedback has been extremely positive. Some of the key benefits of DAS that we’re hearing from firms include:

  • Enhanced efficiency – DAS integrates processes and methodologies, eliminating the need for numerous, disparate audit tools. This enables a holistic audit approach, facilitating a focused audit plan and improved collaboration through a single cloud-based platform. Matt Walsh, Partner at Withum, is leading the DAS implementation at his firm and is seeing the advantages first-hand. “One of the biggest benefits we've seen early on is a defined logical mapping that guides audit teams down the path of an effective and efficient audit from start to finish. We're really excited about how that's going to impact our audit practice.”
  • Greater client & auditor value – Real-time data and integrated analytics support auditors in identifying, evaluating, and responding to relevant risks throughout every stage of the audit. This allows for a deeper assessment at the risk level, enabling DAS to dynamically provide suggestions to auditors on how to respond to identified risks as the audit engagement progresses, helping to inform auditor judgment in real-time. Michael McMurtry, Partner at EisnerAmper, explained: “DAS has the ability to ingest the entire population of transactions (instead of sampling), which allows the auditor to analyze the information much more comprehensively than they’ve been able to in the past and better arms the auditor to provide advice to their clients.”
  • Attracting and developing top talent – DAS offers auditors a modern, technology-driven tool and enables immediate staff upskilling by helping them understand the why and what of their actions within the audit process. “DAS is making our auditors better auditors,” said Jessie Kanter, Partner at Citrin Cooperman. “It’s making them more critical thinkers by redefining what they’re doing as part of their audit process through the guided engagement experience within DAS.”

As an auditor, I recognize the biggest challenges of adopting new technology are knowing where to start and managing change — change presents risk and risk aversion is baked into the profession. CPA.com can help firms assess their readiness and develop individualized adoption and change management roadmaps. We also offer comprehensive implementation consulting, training and data migration support services.

While the transition to DAS comes with the challenges of any great change, those who have taken it on say it’s worth it. As Michael McMurtry commented, “Like any project where change is involved, those first few steps are difficult, but as you make further steps in the process, I think you'll find that DAS is well worth the effort.”

To learn more at the Dynamic Audit Solution, visit CPA.com/DAS.

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