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AUDIT As the role of AI expands, soft skills among auditors are more important than ever
For any industry reshaped by rapid technological growth, new business models must be accompanied by the development of complementary skillsets among its employees. The world of auditing is no different; as ever more advanced service capabilities raise client expectations, there is an increasing recognition among accountants that – as the saying goes – “what got you here won’t get you there”. Indeed, auditors in the financial services industry have traditionally prioritised skills such as accounting, risk management, IT and data analytics when looking to land their desired job. Training in these areas will remain essential for some time to come; however, an oft-overlooked set of “soft skills” is becoming ever more relevant in today’s age of digital transformation. These abilities emphasise the human side of business interaction, where interpersonal communication leads to understanding in a way that technology alone cannot yet replicate. With technology now playing a massive role in the finance industry along with other business sectors, auditors now have greater technical abilities at their fingertips than ever before. In such an environment, where computers can outperform even the best and most experienced auditors at fundamental tasks, the traditional role of the auditor can now expand into new areas. It is therefore worth exploring the challenges and opportunities of this new ecosystem, with an eye toward the particular skills that auditors can develop in order to differentiate themselves from their fellow auditors – as well as their silicon-based assistants.
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