The outbreak of coronavirus has affected every sector of the economy all over the world. Businesses and professions of all kinds have been affected by this. The government of India is also trying to contain this outbreak and hence, has announced a lockdown in the country. The outbreak of COVID-19 has crippled the economy and the lockdown is making things even worse.
Many professionals like Chartered Accountants, are suffering because of the lockdown. They are not able to practice because of the lockdown. The CAs should be provided cloud computing to complete some tasks like auditing.
The banks can be operated through online banking, the doctors can check any patients’ report from anywhere, taxes of any kind from GST returns to Income Tax returns can be filed online, even accounting can be done online, then why can’t the CAs complete audits online?
Cloud Audit means the facility to conduct annual or other financial audits online with the help of the internet and Information technology (IT) resources. The IT professionals can easily manage the servers from anywhere so it is quite easy to conduct online audits. It is the need of the hour for a Cloud Computing service to conduct online audits.
Merits of E-Audit
- The online audit platform will also include the features of IT and it will be a blend of IT and finance.
- New skills of finance and IT both can be acquired by the CA.
- The chances of completing the audit quickly is more in the online audits. The audit can be conducted within 9-11 hrs easily which will save a lot of time for the CA.
- The details and specifications of the audit will be accessed easily by the professionals through a single click and the business owners can also access them easily. The audits will be stored online so there will be no chances of misplacement.
- More and more kinds of IT softwares and services like dropbox, xoom call etc. will be used to make the audit perfect and reliable.
- The audits will be conducted online which will reduce the paperwork that will help the environment too. There will be no need to maintain big folders of papers related to audits as they will be available online.
- There will be a major increase in transparency as the audits will be available online and there will be less risk. The confidentiality of the audit documents will also be maintained.
- Regular check and control over procedures and other areas.
- Flexibility in demands and work hours.
- The process of online audit will be cost effective.
Challenges faced in the implementation of Online Audits
Different IT services like dropbox, zoom call, emails, security checks and other services will be used by the professionals. These services will be common for each client and will be shared by the CA to all the clients. This can be exploited by some users.
The services being used in the audit process will have to be isolated and separated from others to keep it safe and confidential. The services will have to be integrated too so that the procedure can be kept uniform for all types of audits.
Points to be Considered to Create a Perfect Audit Program:
- Use maximum IT services and softwares.
- Focus on self service for more self dependence and confidentiality.
- Consider Technological Risks
- Data Ownership
- Security Checks
- Integrality and availability.
- Systems for Data Management
- Authenticity and Privacy
- Backup and restore the data