Highly regarded as industry specialists, Kreston Reeves provides a full range of audit, accountancy, business advisory and financial services, tailored to the needs of its clients. With a strong history and a dedication to put relationships first, the firm has always strived for excellence and sought ways of improving efficiencies and increasing the quality of every audit conducted, an aim shared by every auditor.
In a market faced with numerous changes from regulations and requirements, placing this focus on improvement and quality is essential. The numerous examples of large organisations that have been forced into the public eye for financial irregularities show very clearly why a quality, end-to-end audit process is essential.
Recognising the need to get ahead of the changes facing the industry while ensuring every audit conducted complies with the latest auditing standards, Kreston Reeves wanted to find a solution that would not only strengthen its client offering, but that would ensure the company would be ready for the future. Michael Cook, Head of Audit Services at Kreston Reeves, explains: “The world works with a combination of evolution and revolution, and audit is no exception to this. We know it’s changing and that greater insight and detailed data analysis will be required by our clients, so we wanted to make sure that we were getting one step ahead of these changes. At this point, we knew that we needed to invest in technology that would help us to achieve this.”
After looking into the various options available in the market, MindBridge Ai Auditor, the world’s first AI-powered auditing solution, was selected to enhance the company’s existing auditing capabilities. The solution analyses an organisation’s entire data set, examining all transactions, looking at the monetary flows between accounts, all credits and all debits and most importantly, identifying risks.
The relationship started with a proof of concept to demonstrate value, with carefully selected auditors within Kreston Reeves trialling the solution to understand how it worked and how it could be further rolled-out within the firm. Comprehensive training helped Kreston Reeves to use the technology within the business and integrate it with existing processes.
Michael adds: “Within the firm, everyone was open to suggestions on how we could improve our offering, but deploying a new solution can be difficult to get used to. We decided to roll out the solution slowly so that we could identify which clients would initially gain the most value from MindBridge Ai Auditor, with the aim of gradually deploying the solution more widely. It was a steep learning curve for us, but we recognised the long-term benefits of the solution and the efficiencies it would bring.”
More than technology
During the phased roll-out, Kreston Reeves realised that the use of this new technology to gain efficiencies and identify risks at a far more granular level also enabled a whole new approach to client relationships and communication. Michael explains: “We didn’t just want to adopt the technology in the background without involving our clients in the process, so we started explaining to them why it was such an important part of our audit methodology and how much value it would bring them; by improving the quality of our audits, every client can have greater confidence that 100% of their data is subject to interrogation and further risk analysis.”
These conversations haven’t stopped there, either. The audit process has become more comprehensive in enabling Kreston Reeves to work with its clients to better understand what the results of the audit mean from a business perspective. Michael adds: “We’ve taken this further than simply adopting new technology to create efficiencies. Instead, MindBridge enables us to look at the impact of the audits on the entire client organisation and have business-critical conversations with them to identify, prioritise and remedy business risk.”
A true partnership
In an industry that doesn’t stand still, making incremental changes at every stage of the journey is essential. Michael explains how constant innovation has been at the heart of the partnership with MindBridge. “We connected with MindBridge as they are always looking for ways to improve and evolve their offering and they are open to working with us closely to implement change. Along the way, we have been able to suggest areas where we feel we could get even more out of the product and MindBridge has taken all of our feedback onboard, making us feel like we are part of the product’s innovation too.”
Driving change forward
In an audit industry that is constantly evolving, Michael insists that audit firms need to be bold and make brave decisions in order to change their mindset or risk falling behind. Michael concludes: “Every organisational change needs one person within the company to drive innovation and new projects forward, and improving audit processes with the use of technology to ensure that 100% of client data is subject to interrogation and further risk analysis is no exception to this. We are still on our journey, with further roll-out needed within the company, but we have never been more confident in our audit methodology and the support that we can provide to our clients, and our partnership with MindBridge plays a huge role in this.”