Abu-Ghazaleh: Transformation from Traditional Auditor to Smart “Audit Tech” Program

MANAMA - The International Arab Society of Certified Accountants (IASCA) held the 6th International Professional Conference entitled “The Future of Accounting Profession in Light of the Knowledge Revolution” under the patronage of HE Mr. Zayed bin Rashid Alzayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of Bahrain.

The Conference was held in the presence of HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, IASCA Founder and Chairman, Mr. Abbas Al Radhi, Chairman of Bahrain Accountants Association, Mr. Khaled Awwad Mousa, Regional Manager of OFIS Soft Company (Diamond Sponsor of the Conference) as well as a host of representatives of Arab professional organizations, banks, financial institutions and researchers.

In his opening speech, Alzayani stressed the importance of maximizing the use of modern technology in  the accounting and auditing fields due to their significant role in boosting the economy, and the impact of financial statements and their quality on economic decision-making.

Meanwhile, the Minister highly commended the role and efforts exerted by Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh in developing this profession.

For his part, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh said that the Conference represents a roadmap on how to benefit from technological advancement in the accounting field and the anticipated influences upon their use.

Furthermore, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh explained that the conference aims at developing professional knowledge and skills, expanding the use of Information Technology (IT) mechanisms and exchanging knowledge and expertise in the accounting profession, in addition to enhancing the professional relationship among Arab accountants to meet the requirements of economic development and encourage investment in the Arab world.

Moreover, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh affirmed that "in the next 20 years,  the auditing profession will be transformed from the ‘Human Auditor’ to the ‘Audit Tech’ program which will be more accurate, fast and capable of detecting errors and irregularities."

According to Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh, the Audit Tech program will be based on International Accounting Standards, International Standards on Auditing and Audit Programs noting that competition between companies and auditing offices will be centered on the quality of their program.

Additionally, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh stated that “in the transitional phase, the 'Audit Tech' will be defined as 'The Auditor' and the human auditor will no longer exist, however, human auditors will become technical experts who are required to submit results through the 'Audit Tech' program along with their observations, conclusions and recommendations."

“Three decades ago, in my capacity as a member of the International Federation of Accountants in New York and the International Accounting Standards Board in London, I managed to change the name of “International Audit Guides” to become the “International Standards on Auditing”, after my demand to change the definition of the accounting profession to become  ‘the tool for economic decision-making', rather than limited to ‘a profession for the preparation of financial statements and businesses outputs'.”

Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh called for changing the objective of the 'Audit Tech' to become ‘providing options and suggestions in economic decision-making to improve the financial institution of an enterprise using the potentials and capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI)', urging the Arab and international professional community to promptly transform to the Audit Tech program.

Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh concluded with his call to establish a committee of experts at Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization to accomplish this transformation by 2022 at the latest, so as to become the first audit company successful in achieving this transformation.

It’s noteworthy to mention that the Conference focused on two main topics including the impact of the Information Technology Revolution on the Accounting and Auditing Profession, Development of Accounting Programs and Digital Accounting. The Conference also shed light on the importance of Knowledge Management and its relation with IT, its Impact on Accounting Qualification as well as the need to adopt international guidelines for the accountant qualification requirements.

Participants also discussed the role of Information Technology as the main drive in improving  comprehensive business quality and knowledge management which has led to significant change towards accountants’ new goal to become more proficient in their work and to meet the developments of their profession efficiently.


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