As the audit profession encounters a digital world where information is ubiquitous and volumes of data are exploding, auditors are increasingly deploying digital tools, including intelligent automation and cognitive technology, to make sense of this digital data and fulfill our important responsibilities to the investing public.

Whether its workflow automation, which allows our professionals and clients to work more seamlessly with data, or robotic process automation, which allows us to use our intellectual property to assess great volumes of data for risk and anomalies, or intelligent automation, which uses cognitive technology to read unstructured data, identify relevant attributes and perform predictive analytics, the audit profession must continue to invest in digital tools to serve the capital markets, enable our professionals and promote the public trust.

What Is Cognitive Technology?

Cognitive systems assist human knowledge workers in two fundamental ways:

Evidence Gathering

Cognitive systems are adept at finding information within the unstructured, semi-structured, and mixed formats of documents that underlie many audit processes. By combining known methods for information extraction and retrieval, natural language processing, and optical character recognition (OCR) software with innovations in applying these methods to financial documents, cognitive systems assist knowledge workers in obtaining evidence and generating hypotheses that support decision-making.

Judgement-Based Decisions

Once the appropriate evidence is gathered, cognitive technologies aid and monitor the human judgement that auditors apply in their interpretations, recommendations, diagnoses, and conclusions. These systems specify methods and technologies that convert knowledge into machine-interpretable logics and convert data into human-interpretable insights. The systems consist of an ensemble of techniques across state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, from statistical approaches to large-scale reasoners. They not only aid knowledge workers in their current workflow, but have the capacity to monitor user behavior to eventually learn to perform more of these complex tasks.

People Will Continue to Make the Difference

KPMG LLP is committed to fostering a culture of innovation and we know it’s our talented professionals who are essential to our success. To be successful in today’s digital environment, our professionals are bringing stronger critical thinking, analytical, data science and IT skills, to complement their financial and business acumen. And, all of these skills, are being empowered and enabled through digital tools and resources that assist in delivering sustained high-quality audits and allow our people to be successful.

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