Ernst & Young plans to invest $1 billion in next-generation assurance technology for its audit teams around the world to leverage as part of an overall $2.5 billion four-year commitment.
EY had previously announced the larger investment last September when it provided the fiscal year 2021 revenue numbers for the global firm, but Wednesday’s announcement provides more details. The $1 billion investment will cover EY assurance services, including financial and nonfinancial reporting, and will support the integration of existing EY assurance technologies into one platform, while leveraging advanced technologies from EY alliance partners to power a new generation of data-driven assurance services. The program aims to build an integrated assurance technology platform to enable transformation in three major areas: data access capabilities and advanced analytics; artificial intelligence; and the user experience.
Major firms like EY are investing more money in developing audit technology as a way to stay ahead of the competition as smaller firms begin to make use of advanced features like data analytics and artificial intelligence to process huge volumes of financial data.
“Advances in technology, and teaming across the EY organization will take audit quality, the scope of assurance services, and the experience for EY clients and people to the next level,” said Marie-Laure Delarue, EY global vice chair of assurance, in a statement Wednesday. “I am proud that EY teams are helping companies pursue long-term value and ultimately win even greater trust among their stakeholders.”
The technology will build upon EY Assurance’s existing audit technology systems, including EY Canvas cloud-based global audit system, which is currently accessed by more than 350,000 EY client users and 120,000 EY people.
The investment will also capitalize on the EY Helix global data analyzer and audit methodology. EY teams use the Helix analyzers to process over 680 billions lines of company financial data each year to scrutinize both financial and non-financial data, leveraging statistical and predictive analytics. Improved features and global consistent methods will help the firm do advanced risk identification and mitigation for expanding assurance services for clients.
“This investment supports the delivery of data-driven audits and other assurance services, and ultimately provides a new level of capabilities to significantly improve the user experience,” said EY global assurance digital leader Marc Jeschonneck in a statement. “This transformation responds to audit committee and finance leaders’ expectations that now encompasses not just audit and accounting, but also the broader reporting landscape including sustainability.”