Impact of Software as a Service (SaaS) on audit services

Many mid-market enterprises require annual attest services that can range in duration from a few days to a few weeks depending upon the complexity of the organization.

Often these organizations have weak internal control environments, which mandate an audit approach that is highly substantive in nature. As a result, a majority of audit procedures are performed well after year end; resulting in a retrospective – rather than real time – evaluation of accounts and transactions.

Software as a Service (SaaS) provides for a more robust internal control environment, permitting the development and execution of a substantially different audit approach. Benefits stemming from an audit approach that places reliance on effective internal controls include:

Efficiency

  • Effective internal controls result in smaller samples of transactions to audit
  • Access to cloud-based ERP systems allows auditors to gather audit information on their own, resulting in less internal time committed to the audit
  • Audit procedures can be performed from anywhere – remotely or on-site

Effectiveness

  • Audit procedures can be performed throughout the year in real time
  • All transactions create an ‘audit trail’ that cannot be manipulated by company personnel
  • Use of workflow tasks can help monitor progress during the audit

Value

  • Real time access to information results in identification of audit/business issues as they arise
  • Auditors can assist in the development of flash reports and other system-driven information to assist management in their evaluation of the business
  • A more efficient audit approach generally translates to quicker completion of the audit and lower overall compliance costs

Baker Tilly offers a business technology consulting team with deep vertical knowledge and exceptional implementation and optimization skills. The firm’s Consulting Practice applies best practice methodologies to organizational needs and successfully implements Software as a Service (SaaS) business solutions. Baker Tilly helps take out the complexity and risk of challenging software deployments.