Digitalisation of auditing

As even the Mainpost regional newspaper reports on 7 June 2016, the cooperation between PwC Germany and IBIS Prof. Thome AG is making “waves”. Here are some questions and answers on this topic.


What does the cooperation between PwC and IBIS involve?

There has been a strategic partnership since 2014 between the audit firm PwC Germany and IBIS Prof. Thome AG with the aim of further improving the quality of auditing using digital analysis technologies, such as IBIS’ RBE Plus, and jointly developing innovative technological solutions. PwC now has a 25% share in IBIS.

An initial result of the cooperation has already been introduced into industry. PwC uses intelligent software to comprehensively support auditors in identifying audit focuses, performing system and process audits and auditing specific issues under the label “Halo for SAP”. The analysis is performed directly in the clients’ systems. A program is first set up in the company’s SAP system, which collects all the necessary data. This is then prepared, processed and visualised in the PwC data centre and made available to the auditor.

The “HALO for SAP” analysis package, based on IBIS’ RBE Plus technology, was successfully used in some 100 companies in Germany in 2015.


Why is PwC working with IBIS?
(Response from Harald Kayser, Chairman of the audit and consultancy firm PwC Germany, excerpts from the 2014 press statement)

In recent years, auditing had grown from being the systematic recording of business processes and spot checking, via analysis using automatic checks and controls, to become a comprehensive audit of complex processes and their internal control systems. Thanks to Halo for SAP and the widely tried-and-tested RBE software and methodology on which it is based, the auditing of business process controls and identification of critical audit areas can be significantly improved.

As a leading audit firm, we wish to offer our clients the most innovative audit methods. Thanks to our cooperation with IBIS, for the first time we are now capable of comprehensively analysing all the data of the company being audited and thus significantly further developing the audit process using our jointly developed Halo for SAP solution. This enables us to further extend our technological leading role in auditing, further improve the quality of our audit work and offer our clients added value.”

What specific contribution does IBIS make to the digitalisation of auditing?
(Response by Prof. Rainer Thome, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of IBIS)

“Every larger company has an operational ERP system, like SAP, which records and collects all the data relevant for the audit as it is created. It is essential to comprehensively analyse this information and intelligently combine it to support the auditor in his work. Over the years, we have developed thousands of rules on which our analysis software works. PwC has adapted a number of them for audit purposes and defined additional specific audit rules, which enable it to fully and specifically investigate even large corporations through the eyes of an auditor. Apart from audit results, this also provides valuable information, for example in terms of process improvements.”


What benefits are there from the point of view of an auditor?
(Response by Petra Justenhoven, Chair and Director of PwC’s Audit Division in Germany, excerpt from the Main-Post article in 2015)

“The use of modern technologies offers new opportunities when auditing companies. Thanks to digitalisation, business transactions can now be analysed almost end to end – and in less time than with conventional audit techniques. Naturally that does not mean that the role of an auditor disappears. Instead, standardisation and automation lead to work being spread more effectively throughout the year. Simpler tasks can also be performed by in-house trained professional employees. The auditor, in turn, can then concentrate on more complex issues.


What is the relationship between PwC’s “HALO for SAP” and IBIS’ “RBE Plus”?
(Response by Dr. Andreas Hufgard, Development Director of IBIS)

“Halo for SAP” is based on IBIS’ RBE Plus technology. It is an analysis package, compiled and developed specifically for the purposes of auditing. It massively extends our view into the SAP systems of the company being audited and enables auditors to analyse business transactions faster and more reliably than ever before.

Unlike other RBE Plus analysis packages and presentations, the focus is on monetary values. Where we might otherwise consider process structures, process volumes or customising employed, we have delved more deeply into the integrated values of a SAP system for PwC.

Overall the “HALO for SAP” developments and projects with PwC are an innovation driver both for RBE Plus technology as well as for other RBE Plus analysis packages, for instance with process utilisation or compliance. Apart from expanding our development capacities and multiplying the SAP systems we annually inspect, we are also advancing with innovations, such as S/4HANA and SAP Cloud solutions.”

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