NEW YORK, April 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Deloitte and the Deloitte Foundation hosted the 2017 National Audit Innovation Campus Challenge at Deloitte University, awarding students of Morehouse College first place for their idea to develop an application to automate the audit risk assessment process. Driving a culture of continuous innovation and a focus on developing the profession's future talent, the competition provides students with an opportunity to leverage their skills and experience through practical application. The competition is designed to introduce students to the types of complex challenges they can be expected to help solve and the types of critical thinking and analytics skills they will likely need when they enter the business world.
Under the guidance of the faculty advisors and subject matter leaders, student participants are presented with a glimpse of how innovative technologies can be applied to the audit profession in new ways. The experience highlights how an evolving audit profession requires a workforce that can tackle business challenges more effectively in a world of continuously evolving technologies, while also providing auditors with increased opportunities to deliver value for the capital markets. Student teams from 33 top colleges and universities participated in the event, with six teams advancing to the final round.
"As technology disrupts business at an unprecedented rate, the next-generation of talent will need to possess proficiency with emerging technologies and data analytics to help develop more innovative solutions to business challenges," said Mike Fucci, chairman of the board, Deloitte, and chairman of the Deloitte Foundation. "This competition provides opportunities for students to apply their creativity and learning to real business challenges facing today's auditors. In addition, the competition reinforces the Deloitte Foundation's focus on connecting education to the profession."
The winning presentation demonstrated an idea to develop an application to enhance the effectiveness of the risk assessment process by using artificial intelligence to identify non-financial data from external sources such as social media, journals, periodicals, and newsfeeds, among others. This data, used in combination with public and non-public financial data, would contribute to the auditors' ability to identify risks of misstatement in a company's financial statements and enhance audit quality. The software continuously curates data and learns through direct feedback from auditors, thereby allowing auditors to continuously enhance their professional judgment in making key audit risk decisions.
Among the collegiate national finalists, students from Pace University earned second place. The University of Pittsburgh, University of Southern California, College of William and Mary, and University of Wisconsin-Madison were awarded honorable mentions.
Multiple emerging technologies are transforming the audit and creating exciting new opportunities. Workflow automation, artificial intelligence, and analytics have enhanced a number of the labor-intensive, manual processes traditionally associated with an audit, freeing up auditors to make better informed professional judgments and deliver deeper insights.
"Technology is enabling auditors to enhance the quality of audits while focusing on what matters most," said Jon Raphael, chief audit innovation officer, Deloitte & Touche LLP and leader of Deloitte Audit's innovation team. "Cognitive technologies allow auditors to probe deeper and deliver more insights. Deloitte is harnessing innovation and expanding auditors' skillsets to empower our next-generation auditors."
Students were also charged with offering ideas as to how Deloitte can better help new hires understand, apply, and adopt the new technologies suggested in their presentations.
The Deloitte Foundation accelerates innovation in education by helping institutions of higher learning keep pace with the rapidly changing marketplace, evolving technologies, and other major trends.
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world's most admired brands, including 80 percent of the Fortune 500 and more than 6,000 private and middle market companies. Our people work across more than 20 industry sectors to deliver measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to make their most challenging business decisions with confidence, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthy society.
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