Technology is a hugely important aspect of business in this day and age, with companies investing big money to acquire the latest data, software and hardware in order to keep up with the demands of a global clientele. The responsibility of a technology auditor is to evaluate the technological capacity of an organisation, its procedures and its needs, in order to ensure the business can outwit competitors and remain relevant.
Increasing IT security threats, new regulations and overwhelming market pressure to continually innovate to the tune of technological evolution means that businesses’ need for technological, IT and InfoSec support are highly critical. The globalisation of the corporate world married with developments in technology has seen the world forced to manage the largest and fastest-moving body of data it has ever encountered, and as a result it needs relevantly skilled professionals to handle it accordingly.
The Big Four audit firms, PwC, EY, KPMG and Deloitte offer a vast number of technology audit jobs, with KPMG in particular investing £1bn into data analytics and new technologies as the firm takes stock of the ever-evolving technological climate. New EU regulations, which came into effect in June in response to the financial crisis of 2008, have created more competition between professional services firms as they strive to outdo their rivals by pouring money into technology in the hopes of winning audit business away from their competitors.
Deloitte and PwC too are recognising the need to reflect changing business models in their practice in response to the demand from clients for their audit firms to keep pace with the speed of digital disruption, increased regulatory scrutiny on technology risks and intensifying cyber threats. In a bid to meet client expectations regarding technology, PwC is launching its new graduate recruitment programme this September. Springing from its IT Risk Assurance Practice, the new graduate programme will give those pursuing technology audit routes, including cyber security, data and technology, the professional qualifications and exposure to launch a credible career within the technology space. The UK is in short supply when it comes to technology professionals but the industry is starting to recognise and respond to the need for these individuals to be sought out and nurtured.
Candidates able to apply data analytics, artificial intelligence and workflow automation to their audit practice will see a stark demand for their skills as the audit and accounting space makes bold steps to innovate in line with a data-fuelled business landscape. The integration of cyber security and emerging technology into the audit function, particularly in the wake of high profile scandals, including Fifa and Tesco, has redefined the criteria for contemporary audit. Having not only the desirable soft skills of clear and effective communication and the technical expertise to deliver thorough reports and recommendations; but also the insight to add value and maintain an organisation’s relevance amid this evolving corporate climate will be the key to an enduring career.
Candidates hoping to move into technology auditor roles are expected to be well-versed in the language of business and have the intuition and understanding of their client’s operation, as well as their problem areas and vulnerabilities. Recognising how the business works and thus where it may be susceptible to risk is only half the battle; technology auditors are required to apply those skills in line with new technologies as they sift through copious amounts of data in order to offer comprehensive recommendations to the business.