When proposing a mechanization, we will first start from a workflow process management system (WF) that will contact other technologies to perform the appropriate verifications in each case; these methodologies can be diverse; some will be the same as those used in a traditional audit: capturing data from different files in the organization’s accounting information system (ERP) to build a spreadsheet, or preparing a verification report in a word processor, sending e-mails or comparing the information received.
The definition of WFs requires stable and well-defined processes: input and output, which can be labeled within the company’s ERP. The problem is twofold: on the one hand, procedures are not always fully digitized, and on the other hand, and more worrying, each organization can be unique in the design of WFs, so a prototype of auditor’s procedure automation cannot be based only on simple and predefined WFs, but we will have to talk about process mining to identify the information flows in the ERP of the client company and thus adapt our audit software-robot.
The tool to be used is RPA (Robotic Process Automation) software, which allows us to automate and streamline repetitive tasks such as data collection and calculation of amounts.
Once the flowchart has been drawn up, we will search for documentary sources that will allow us to carry out real-time checks of the data included in the documentation, both in relation to invoicing and invoices issued.
The ISA-ES 500 (Audit Evidence) indicates that the reliability of audit evidence increases if it is obtained from external sources independent of the entity, so that external sources should be sought.
There are many uses for the prototype and therefore the target audience:
Companies for automation of paper invoices and audit checks in companies of a certain size that have digitized data.
Public entities of all kinds. We are currently working with the Port of Cartagena on a prototype.
Accounting firms to reduce the manual workload. We are currently testing the prototype of recognition of paper invoices with artificial intelligence and its adaptation to programs such as ADISS A3, Sage Despachos Connected, Anfix or a3innuva, among others.
The impact on the entities or companies that implement either of the two prototypes will be the following:
- Reduction of processing time of invoices or verifications,
- Significant reduction in company, personnel and material costs.
- Improvement in the security and reliability of the data obtained after the application of the prototype.
In fact, 90% of companies consider digitization as their priority, a phenomenon that has been boosted by the pandemic (CEO Outlook 2020: COVID-19 report). Our prototype is based on the existence of digitized data. The invoice automation prototype is the most advanced and contributes to the generation of digitized data, a prerequisite for the implementation of the robo-auditor.
Our objective is to implement the prototype in the largest number of companies from two points of view: to achieve its technological improvement and the scalability of the solution.