Introducing the Virtual Audit
A business crisis alerts finance leaders to their organization’s vulnerabilities. When lockdowns prevented people from being in their offices in 2020, organizations with the right technology and processes demonstrated their ability to adapt, overcome and sustain operations under extraordinary circumstances. That experience opened eyes and has led to the increasing use of technology to transform core departmental processes to improve performance, enhance financial controls, reduce risk and build a risk-intelligent culture throughout the organization. Ventana Research advocates the adoption of the “virtual audit,” an approach to managing the annual external audit that is more productive, lowers internal costs, and may reduce audit fees and expenses. A virtual audit reduces process friction and eliminates unnecessary work for both the auditor and client by providing the auditor’s staff direct (but controlled) access to an organization’s finance and accounting systems. We assert that by 2025, more than one-half of organizations will have adopted some form of a virtual audit.