Weekly Wrap – 31st July 2014


Hi I am Tom McLeod, Co-Founder of McLeod Governance.

This is what I would be thinking about this week.


In a recent Financial Times article there was a discussion about those sectors and industries that can be expected to be disrupted by what is now referred to as the second machine age – the era post the introduction of the internet where automation and greater collaboration takes place.

The usual suspects such as media and banking were listed – but one that really caught our eye was professional services.  In a subsequent article auditing was mentioned as an area that was likely to be severely disrupted by this second machine age.

And it really caught our eye.

Disrupting Auditing

For in many respects it is the first time that we have seen auditing mentioned as a discipline that could be so spectacularly disrupted.

When we thought more about it – it made complete sense.

Auditing at its very basic level is the repeat of previously undertaken efforts or analysis and that is the very basis of the things that can be automated.

One aspect of auditing that can’t be automated is the cognitive or intellectual thinking that is applied thereto.

What IS Auditing?

But perhaps what wont be changed is how we do auditing but rather what is auditing in the future.

As I looked and researched for this particular post, it struck me that no-one – none of the big four accounting firms and definitely none of the think tanks or management consulting firms – is talking about how the professional service firm i.e. – themselves could be fundamentally by the advent of greater automation and collaboration.

To say watch this space is actually to do that phrase a disservice.

I do wonder whether within five years the concept of not only auditing but what is a professional service firm will fundamentally change.


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