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    Using Technology to unlock talent and improve client relationships
    Blog Post

    Using Technology to unlock talent and improve client relationships

    Jeff Gramlich, Managing Director & Head of Accounting

    Jeff Gramlich, Managing Director & Head of Accounting

    2023 Accounting summer conference roundup

    This year I’ve had a particularly busy summer conference season, attending several in both the US and UK. From the conversations on the ground, to speakers at the front I’ve found the same themes pop up. Talent attraction, talent retention, and the role of technology in addressing these issues. I want to share the three key takeaways that you should take note on:

    1. Enhancing Client Experience through Talent Acquisition

    Clients are demanding better quality audits, which requires attracting talented professionals with value-added skills. However, there’s been little discussion on relieving auditors of mundane tasks to provide them with space to develop these skills.

    To truly enhance client experience and elevate audit quality, we must address overwhelming auditor workloads. Validis client Barret Bernier, Audit Supervisor at Citrin Cooperman stated that his team “saved almost 2 days in a recent engagement by automating the GL extraction and cleaning.”

    We believe the right technology will automate routine tasks, giving auditors space to focus on higher-value activities.

    Harnessing the Power of AI in Talent Management

    AI has transformative potential in audit. While its benefits for improving talent processes were acknowledged, discussions also focused on enabling auditors to perform tasks more efficiently.

    AI can revolutionize the auditing processes by automating repetitive tasks and processing large volumes of data quickly and accurately. This frees up auditors’ time for critical thinking, data interpretation, and client interactions. By empowering auditors to focus on tasks requiring human judgment, AI helps increase the quality and value of audits.

    2. Getting started: Leadership & Prioritization

    A common question during the conferences was how to effectively implement technology solutions. Strong leadership and prioritization are key.

    Successful implementation starts with effective leadership. Designating a dedicated technology lead with expertise and the ability to drive change is crucial. Jim Bourke, of Withum engaged with technology from Validis from the start and took ownership of the project through to implementation. He said:

    “I saw a technology that would really change how we audit… this is really going to change our margins, our realisation and how we collaborate with our clients.”

    Prioritization is vital when implementing technology. Focusing efforts on the 5-10 most impactful ideas for implementation ensures efficient resource allocation and quick wins. Firms that take this approach will see a return of investment as their specific goals are achieved. This in turn creates momentum for further technological advancements.

    3. Allow your technology lead time to really focus

    Leadership and prioritization are key but when implementing technology, time can be an undervalued commodity. When speaking with audit partners, from Big 4 firms down to the top 200, I’ve noticed a trend in client workload that technology leads face. They’ll typically hold 15 client engagements at any given time.

    This really limits the amount of time to focus on technology. In the most technologically advanced firms, the technology partner has no client engagements at all. It may take several years to get to this stage, so firms wanting to take tech seriously should start acting now.

    In conclusion, by prioritizing client experience, harnessing the power of AI, and digital prioritization strategies, firms will pave the way for success in the ever-evolving landscape of talent management and technology integration.

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