Can medium-sized audit firms compete with large firms in the data game?

The data sector continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and the tools audit firms use to audit are quickly getting more sophisticated. While this is all well and good for larger firms, what about medium-sized audit firms? Can they compete with the ever-changing environment and attract the clients they need to in order to thrive?

The short answer to this query is yes. But, it’s not as simple as that. Learning how medium-sized audit firms compete with large firms is the key to understanding why they can compete, and even do better in some instances.

As a general rule, clients expect that the firms perform complete or “whole” data testing. This encompasses forecasting and trend analysis to help assess audit risks and provide the clients’ management teams with useful information that the firm derives from the testing process.

Herein lies the problem because performing whole data testing can mean the use of more expensive software. Firms also have to recruit data analysts to take all of the data and turn it into a report that is easily understood by the clients’ team. Depending on the scope of the project, this can all add up quickly and strain a smaller budget. But it doesn’t have to be like this, and small or medium firms can compete with large firms by doing the following.

How Medium-Sized Audit Firms Can Compete With Large Firms

The first thing you have to tackle as a smaller firm is the cost of recruiting and using data analysts. Instead of recruiting a full team, think smaller. You can appoint one or two “data champions” within your current team and give them the training they need to be able to analyse the data and turn it into a readable and easily understandable report.

If no one is up to the challenge, you can recruit one or two analysts and add them to your existing team. It will cost you a little more, but it won’t cost you as much as a full team recruitment process would.

The final thing you can do is choose to use off-the-shelf data analysis software. Instead of spending thousands on expensive software, look into Excel in Office 365 as an example. It gives you access to numerous AI tools that your team can use for data analysis, and it costs a fraction of the price.

So, can medium-sized audit firms compete with larger firms? If they’re prepared to be creative and bring an open-minded approach, the answer is yes.

If you’re in need of an audit within your business or need further information, contact the audit experts at your local Accru office today.

About the Author
Cameron Flynn , Accru Melbourne
Cameron has always prided himself on being highly responsive to his clients’ requirements. Having worked in the audit division and been responsible for a large number of small and medium audit clients, he has a diverse knowledge of both the not-for-profit and for-profit sector. He also performs reviews of internal business systems.
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