Weekly Wrap – 27th November 2013



1:09 – Wednesday 21st November 2018
2:03 – Tuesday 21st November 2033
2:58 – Wednesday 21st November 2063

World class audit advice here



Hi I am Tom McLeod, Managing Consultant of McLeod Governance. This is what I would be thinking about this week.

Last week I presented at the 29th World Continuous Auditing and Reporting Symposium. The topic of my presentation was “Reimagining Audit”. Today in this Weekly Wrap what I want to look at is part of that presentation. Specifically what will audit look like in 5, 20 and 50 years time.

The approach that I took was to adopt a principles approach to what audit will look like in the future. I am not a predictor of the future and I have not been there to tell you what it looks like. So instead what I have taken is three key principles. That of transparency, accuracy and time appropriate and tried to work out what audit would look like using those three principles.


Audit in 5 Years – Wednesday 21st November 2018

So my first stop in my journey into the future is on Wednesday 21st November 2018.


For the transparency aspects – for me – what I think you will see is that there will be an unequivocal acceptance of data as a central element of the auditing process.

To quote Sherlock Holmes

I can’t make bricks without clay.

You can’t have audit without data.


Secondly with regards to accuracy, the ability to define poor data at the input stage rather than identifying it at the output stage will be considered common.

Time Appropriate

And finally if we look then at time appropriate – continuous auditing will drastically reduce post event audits.


Audit in 10 Years – Tuesday 21st November 2033

Lets next move on to Tuesday 21st November 2033 – so about the time that I am retiring from the wonderful area of internal audit and governance.


I think what you will see is what I am calling auditee driven audits. What are they is that the auditee will be activating the audit gateway that will see the audits through its processes and it does call into question what is the future role of an auditor?  Is it to audit the audit?


Secondly the accuracy of data will be a given.  Sampling will last have been used about 10 years ago.  Our next generation will laugh at us at the thought that we did anything other than 100% population testing.

Time Appropriate

And finally all auditing will be done real-time.


Audit in 50 Years – Wednesday 21st November, 2063

And that takes me to the last part of my talk today – that is Wednesday 21st November, 2063.

What I have got before you is from the Tom Cruise movie ” Minority Report”.  And even in the future there will always be someone drinking coffee when you are doing a presentation.


What I imagine is a complete mapping of all control systems.

Accuracy and Time Appropriate

And in just the same way that Cruise sought to predict a murder – sought to prevent a murder – in Minority Report we will seek to prevent or manipulate the control environment by moving around aspects of it in real time to demonstrate the impacts of cost cutting or the impacts of changes in organisational structures.

And hopefully we will be able to predict things such as corporate misadventure.

This is my interpretation of the future.

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