This session showcased a possible example how Small and Medium Sized Practitioners (SMPs) can employ data analytics solutions to add value to their Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) clients and shared further insights and relevant considerations for SMPs in the area of audit data analytics. The session also provided preliminary insight into the responses to the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) Data Analytics Working Group (DAWG) on its Request for Input “Exploring the Growing Use of Technology in the Audit, with a Focus on Data Analytics”.

Speakers included Mark Edmondson, Chief Executive and founder of Inflo, Katharine Bagshaw, member of the IFAC Small and Medium Practices Committee and Chair of IAASB Rapid Response Task Force and Robert Dohrer Chair of the IAASB’s DAWG.


SMPs face unique and distinct challenges when it comes to use of technology and data analytics relative to larger accountancy firms. The top three SMP challenges when it comes to technology found by the IFAC 2016 SMP Survey in Europe include:

  • Investing in and staying current with software;
  • Determining what technology is best for the practice; and
  • Achieving a digital paperless environment.

Large accounting firms are already making significant investments in developing homegrown tools and methodologies but many SMPs cannot afford to develop customized data analytics tools because the pioneering investments in hardware and software are costly and simply beyond their resource availability. On the other hand, the benefits of using technology and data analytics are widely understood among smaller practitioners and many realize that in order to stay relevant for their SME clients employing technology and data analytics is a necessity.
Participants were able to connect remotely from Belgrade, Bucharest, Philippines, Podgorica, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofia, Tallinn, Tirana, the UK, Vienna and Zagreb.
Please visit the Audit Training of Trainers page for more information about its activities.

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