In the '5 minutes with..', we highlight a variety of topics from the perspective of our DataSnipper team members. In this 5 minute read with Patrick Uffels, Head of Audit Transformation at DataSnipper, you'll get insight into a trending topic: Audit Transformation. Happy reading.
Q: Hi Patrick, great to have you in the 5 minutes with. Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
My name is Patrick Uffels and I work as the Head of Audit Transformation at DataSnipper. I have been working here since April 2021 and having a great time so far. Before DataSnipper, I was actually an auditor at KPMG Netherlands for five years. So, it's really great to work at a company that is helping to transform the audit industry.
Q: Speaking of, what exactly is Audit Transformation?
Good question. Audit Transformation is the transition of the Audit profession to the digital age. This transition is not a goal on its own - it's important because Audit Transformation enables the auditor to deliver higher Audit quality and at the same time retain talent.
Audit Transformation at DataSnipper is focused on three points. The first point is that we provide a lot of education. Mostly delivered through training, but also guidance and support for auditors through our Knowledge base. The second point is to help with methodology. Meaning that we implement DataSnipper into the Audit methodology of our clients. Finally, the third point is integration. For example, some companies already have automation flows which they want to integrate DataSnipper as a review layer to make sure they can leverage DataSnipper's technology within that automated flow. This whole process is what we call integration.
Q - As the Head of Audit Transformation at DataSnipper and an ex-auditor, why do you think Audit Transformation is important?
Society's expectations of the Audit profession are increasing. The profession has some big challenges ahead to fulfill these expectations, like the discovery of fraud and ESG reporting. Technology can play a pivotal role in enabling auditors to meet these expectations.
That's why I think making DataSnipper available to all auditors within the company is a great first step to transform Audit. It is however just the start of the Audit Transformation journey. Audit transformation is broader than just installing the software. It's about rethinking your work processes in which DataSnipper can facilitate a lot. The tool is very intuitive but, it might take some time for users to understand it completely and fully grasp all the functionality of DataSnipper. That's where audit transformation comes in with the education, methodology and integration as we really upscale the workforce, making sure there are standardized procedures available to our users to perform their procedures. By educating auditors on concrete uses cases, we make sure they know which tools suit their use cases the best.
Q - How does DataSnipper deliver the digital transformation that companies need in audit?
First, by delivering a great product. We have DataSnipper, the platform, financial statement suite, integration capabilities which are all beneficial for auditors to have. We are continuously working on increasing and enhancing the current use of the product. But also, we are brainstorming about new ideas, new functionalities, and new products. As great as we are doing right now, we are already taking a big step in discovering new features to implement in our platform.
Audit Transformation enables auditors to use DataSnipper to it's full potential. As a company we don't want our clients to just buy the software and install it, we want to enable the Auditor to transform their way of working. That's where my drive actually comes from as well. If we have a client that could Snip more or Document Matching more, we would have a call with that client to make sure they understand how to apply DataSnipper to their use cases.
Q - What makes you feel excited about DataSnipper's solutions to auditors' day-to-day problems?
The most exciting thing to me is that DataSnipper enables auditors to focus on what they love most by delivering true innovation. The solutions that DataSnipper offers are completely rethinking how auditors do audit procedures which is really cool. The automation allows auditors to have more time to focus on complex procedures. It makes their work fun and purposeful. Additionally, DataSnipper can be implemented in hundreds of use cases, based on individual client needs. During my trainings, I investigate where can DataSnipper bring the most efficiency to my clients’ audit procedures; and the flexibility of DataSnipper offers endless possibilities which is very exciting to see. The biggest driver for me is to make every auditor in the world more successful and impactful.
Q - What advice would you give to the companies about implementing digital innovations to their audit procedures?
Obviously, make sure you get DataSnipper!
Jokes aside, if you look at audit tooling that's available, it's a lot. Having worked as an auditor, there are so many different technological tools to choose from. Some procedures such as putting a stamp on PDF, you don't necessarily have to do it manually. But, it is at least a method that you know.
Next to getting the software, it is important to make sure auditors understand where and how to apply the software in their audit procedures to maximize their quality and efficiency. Providing the guidance and support the auditors need and reaching out to us for help is a major benefit for the audit teams during their onboarding.
Communicating with our clients is a major benefit for us as well. I have worked here for almost nine months now and talking to all these different clients across the globe on how to do audits gives us great insights. The whole industry can benefit from this, especially the DataSnipper community.
Q - How's the future of Audit look like to you?
One of the trends I see is the pace of financial reporting or the increasing frequency of financial reporting. This is obviously a partial challenge for an auditor. You have companies doing quarterly reporting but, having a bit of a look further down the line, I think it will evolve into continuous reporting. In addition, we might come across continuous auditing especially for public companies that need to be audited regularly. Since the pace is getting faster, it makes sense for companies to implement new technologies to facilitate their procedures.
The second trend I see is the implementation of new technologies in audit procedures having a positive effect on client communication. When you are on a tight deadline as an auditor, you can be in situations in which you need to ask a lot of questions to your clients. With the right tooling and the process, documentation of all audit evidence is much more structured which leads auditors to find answers to their questions without having to go through their clients. The new technologies will facilitate the search and the documentation of an auditor, making client communication much more efficient and to the point.
Finally, the last trend I see is the increased expectations of the regulators. For every auditor, auditing is a crucial job that adds value to society. As a former auditor, I also felt the importance of auditing and how a great feeling it was to add value to society. Over the last decade, the regulations are becoming stricter. Due to the rapid and massive growth of the companies and the previous scandals, the regulators are expecting to see a clear plan and execution. Therefore, it is very important to deliver what your clients are expecting from you as an auditor. To meet the expectations of the regulators, technology brings a great advantage to auditors, facilitating the planning and execution of audit procedures.
Q - Anything you would like to add?
A punch line I say after every training: Happy Snipping!