Surprising Ways the Cloud Provides Strength to Your Audit Engagements

The cloud is often overlooked for groups working with highly-regulated and sensitive data, but the reality is that it can provide enormous gains in terms of efficiency, productivity and security.

Audit engagements may not be the most exciting topic to talk about but the reality is that audit practices rely on an outdated, on-premise solution to house and manipulate data. This has potential to bring with it major weaknesses. Luckily, here we take a look at how the cloud strengthens your audit engagements.

Cloud Works in Real Time
Synchronization and single-user trial balance kills productivity and collaboration—and prevents real-time review. With the cloud, there is no more check-out/sync or back-up/restore—all audit data is accessed seamlessly and in real time. With sophisticated, multi-user content, trial balance, engagement management, and document retention management, the entire audit team has up-to-the-minute access to the entire engagement, from any location, without having to transfer, backup, restore or refresh the audit files.

Minimise IT Burdens
By using the cloud, your firm eliminates the need for software updates, manual backups and server maintenance. This is a significant IT burden removed. Your data and applications are always updated and always secure. All you need to do is log in to a web browser and go to work.

Increased Security Requirements
Security risks have increased due to the wide range of laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices used in firms. Cloud based services are more secure because they must adhere to strict standards and independent audits (“SOC2 engagements”), and because their reputation (and revenue) depends on the security of their services, cloud providers put serious effort and attention to maintaining these security standards.

Increased Physical Security
On top of the strict security requirements for cloud based services, the cloud also enhances security and control over sensitive data by keeping it off of laptops, which are actually the least secure option. On-premise environments are at a higher risk of security-related incidents than cloud environments, as well as (obviously) considerably more physically forceful attacks (i.e., break-ins, etc.) compared to their cloud-based counterparts.

Configure and Manage Multi-location Audits and/or Remote Staff Effectively
The cloud allows audit teams to access data from across the globe, making it easy to coordinate fieldwork and review processes across multiple locations and allowing remote staff to collaborate in real time. Multi-location audits no longer present a coordination issue because all staff can access the live data simultaneously.

Avoid Confusion and Re-working
With the cloud, web-based audit engagement management features eliminate version control issues by eliminating checked out copies and backups so staff, managers and partners will never have to worry about whether they have the latest version of a document.

By using the cloud, your entire audit is stronger. Engagements, workpapers, software updates and colleagues are available in real time with just a click—whether you’re in the office, in the field or anywhere else. With the ability to remove geographical barriers, easily share information, and significantly reduce your IT burden.