Maxmin told Accountancy Age that auditors have two choices; either to embrace the ‘inevitable’ changes or ‘they will become obsolete’.
New technology, known as auditbot, currently in use in the US, allows auditing to be done on an on-going basis instead of as an archival activity that is performed monthly, quarterly or yearly.
Maxmin said that unless they face up quickly to the changing demands of their clients and the business world, auditors could become a dying breed.
The former CEO said: ‘Accountants have a choice, take a proactive role or sit still. If they don’t assume that role then many of the functions accountants perform will be automated. Auditing will be automated.’
Anthony Bingham, audit partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, dismissed the claim saying auditing ‘is about professional judgement’. He said however, that auditing practices will evolve and technology will alter the processes.
Maxmin said: ‘If it’s all done on a cash basis which will always have to balance then auditing can be automated. That part of auditing will be taken care of. So you actually create auditing that will be looking at the quality of what’s going on.
The full profile of James Maxmin will appear on the site tomorrow.
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