DRJ Fall 2019

Conference & Exhibit

Attend The #1 BC/DR Event!

Summer Journal

Volume 32, Issue 2

Full Contents Now Available!

Wednesday, 10 April 2019 14:46

Scarcity in Skills and Emerging Tech Hamper Audit Teams in Keeping Pace with Change

Gartner surveyed over 300 Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) in 2018 on their resource and time investments, priorities and challenges in 2019. Gartner VP Malcolm Murray examines the report’s key findings on the impact to the audit function.

Today’s audit leaders are grappling with a double-edged sword, according to our latest “state of the audit function” research survey at Gartner. Technology-driven change has the potential to drastically improve the efficiency of routine audit tasks, improve the quality and actionability of the insights audits provide to the business and deepen ownership of risk management in the business. At the same time, however, this shift is creating new risks and business models faster than audit and other assurance functions can keep up with.


Harnessing data analytics and robotic process automation technology to support audit’s workflow is critical, but it needs new skills. These skills, however, require financial investment. Yet budget growth fell to just 2 percent in 2018, down from 5 percent in 2016 and 2017; therefore, audit needs to get smart about how it uses its scarce skills.

With data and analytics experts in very high demand across all functions, industries and geographies, many audit leaders will struggle to transform their function with new capabilities to cope with higher-velocity business processes in the digital age.

The scarcity of critical skills could explain the rise in prevalence of co-sourced resources in audit functions, with its share of total audit budget creeping up from 8 percent in 2017 to 9 percent in 2018, and 67 percent of organizations saying they used co-sourced audit support in 2018, up from 62 percent in 2017. In any case, whether or not the audit function has the skills it needs, it seems clear that technology-related change will continue to disrupt and expand the range of business activities and processes for which audit must provide assurance.