Too many of today’s auditors are stressed and overworked. Disparate systems, remote work environments, and staffing constraints are among the issues they must navigate, and without the right tools and resources in place, it can be difficult. Therefore, firms need to ensure that auditors can access the tools they need and achieve the greater work-life balance they desire should they wish to retain top talent.
The call for a greater work-life balance is not new among professionals across many industries. Auditors are no exception. What’s more, having additional time to unplug and pursue personal interests outside of work can actually improve audit quality, according to 2021 research by the American Accounting Association. According to the findings:
- When auditors have a better work-life balance there’s a lower incidence of financial restatements for clients.
- The better the auditors’ work-life balance at the audit firm, the greater their propensity to issue a going concern opinion for a distressed client.
- Auditors who are less likely to have their judgement impaired due to long working hours are more likely to detect and reduce clients’ use of within-GAAP accrual manipulation to report higher earnings.
The research also found that auditor work-life balance is as important as compensation in determining the overall satisfaction of accounting firm employees.
Affording auditors an improved work-life balance involves leveraging the power of modernization with progressive technologies that enable real-time digital collaboration between audit teams and clients.
What challenges do auditors face today?
Today’s auditors often face many inefficiencies — from toggling between disparate systems to client accounting systems that lack standardization. All of which chip away at their ability to achieve a better work-life balance. Now throw into the mix the rise of remote audits and the need for even greater collaboration among team members and clients — auditors are exhausted.
Depending on the size of the firm and engagement, audit teams can have as many as seven professionals. Ensuring collaboration across all team members and clients, especially in a remote environment, can be hard.
“Collaboration is a key consideration for firms. They need their teams to be able to communicate with each other, and in a cloud environment they can do that very easily,”
said Colleen Bellers, Senior Consultant for Thomson Reuters. “If you have locally stored software or you have more of a paper mindset … then it becomes very, very challenging for teams to work remotely, or even have a hybrid approach, because they are used to sitting in a conference room and just kind of hashing it out and all heading out together.”
Leveraging a cloud-based, end-to-end solution that delivers accurate audits and enables greater collaboration can be a game changer.
Enter the Thomson Reuters Cloud Audit Suite.
How can firms use technology to create better work-life balance for auditors?
The Thomson Reuters Cloud Audit Suite is a comprehensive suite of products that professionals need to complete audits smarter, faster, and with total confidence for greater peace of mind.
“A lot of these firms are using a number of different solutions from different vendors and so they are essentially pushing data back and forth between different solutions,” said Bellers.
“With the Cloud Audit Suite, they can actually bring it all together and then tie information together so that they’re not pushing and pushing and pushing, and then roll that data forward. And that’s where that huge time savings comes in.”
The Cloud Audit Suite — which comprises AdvanceFlow, Checkpoint Engage, and Confirmation — can manage the full spectrum of audit tasks in one place. This results in significant time savings and improved efficiency. More specifically, features include:
- Real-time collaboration. Work from the same document at the same time as your colleagues without worrying about version control.
- Cloud-based technology. Securely access the audit online, from anywhere, with a cloud-based solution that updates data and stakeholders in real time.
- Secure confirmations. Manage the online confirmation process without leaving the Cloud Audit Suite platform.
- Seamless workflow. Simplify the audit process with an end-to-end solution, including the only online confirmation service and integration with third-party analytics.
- Leading methodology. Backed by experienced editors and authors, the audit methodology ensures the materials are accurate to help you pass peer review and enjoy greater peace of mind.
On the benefits of the Cloud Audit Suite, Bellers said, “It allows you to be able to breathe if you’re an auditor.”
Work-life balance solutions for auditors
Too many of today’s auditors are stressed and exhausted. Therefore, firms must take action to help ensure auditors achieve a greater work-life balance.
This involves implementing technologies that enable real-time digital collaboration between audit teams and clients. It is also important to encourage auditors, especially those working remotely, to take breaks, exercise, set realistic deadlines, and create a work schedule.
Prioritizing an improved work-life balance leads to higher quality audits, greater employee retention, and, ultimately, improved profitability for the firm.
How to get started
When looking to implement a new technology solution, it is important to first set realistic expectations. It is also essential to include staff in the process, seek their feedback, and communicate the reason behind the change. When staff understand the benefits to be gained and feel involved in the process, they’ll be more open to change.
Contact us today to learn more about the Cloud Audit Suite — our leading team of consultants can help guide your firm to success and set auditors on the path to the greater work-life balance they desire.