Myth-busting auditors are shaping the future

Group A recent Center for Audit Quality’s #AuditorProud campaign focused on myth-busting — and there are a lot of myths about the audit profession that need to be busted.

For example: Some people think auditing is dull or boring. But as CEO, I see our teammates at Grant Thornton having fun working together every day to deliver a service that gives businesspeople the confidence they need to change the world. Some say it’s not a good field for women. But more than 50% of 2018’s new audit partners are women. Some say it’s not a high-tech profession. But we’re investing in exciting new technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence, data analytics and blockchain. Some say auditors wear green eyeshades. Wait, what? Still?

None of these myths about auditing is true — at least, not at Grant Thornton, where I serve as CEO. Although the last one, about the green eyeshades, was true of auditors a hundred years ago. There was a good reason: Auditors often suffered from eye strain because of the harshness of the early electric light bulbs. But so did newspaper editors — so we weren’t alone!

Today, the biggest challenge we face as auditors isn’t harsh electric light — it’s how to quickly integrate rapidly advancing, innovative technologies into our audit processes and methodologies to produce higher-quality audits with more speed and less cost than ever before. And then, to change the very nature of the audit, to move beyond a basic assurance function and use the data-rich information that modern audits produce to provide clients with new insights that enable them to run their businesses better.

So many industries and professions in our world are being disrupted by advancing technologies. Just look at how Netflix has changed how we watch TV, Uber how we get around, Airbnb how we find places to stay. The audit profession is being disrupted, too, and in a good way. For firms that choose to embrace and drive change in the profession, the opportunities to create new value for clients — and for ourselves — are almost without limit.

At Grant Thornton, we’re not waiting to see what the future of the audit profession will look like. We’re helping to shape it. That’s why I’m excited to come to work with my teammates every day. And it’s why I’m #AuditorProud.


Mike McGuire Mike McGuire
T: +1 704 632 6788