3 Initiatives to Leverage AI and Big Data in Promoting Financial Audit
The United Arab Emirates seeks to support and develop the financial audit sector by qualifying and training national skills to achieve the highest international levels. This is especially significant, bearing in mind that the UAE heads the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI).
This direction was highlighted during the meeting of the Financial Audit Government Working Group, as part of the Second UAE Government Annual Meetings, held in Abu Dhabi. The meeting adopted the study “The use of Artificial Intelligence in Control and Audit Procedures”, which involves conducting the necessary specialized and technical researches for the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in auditing procedures and operations, as well as preparing templates and surveys to compile data. The initiative also includes organizing workshops to examine the possibility of using Artificial Intelligence in the control and audit procedures, in order to establish the requirements needed to design AI applications and programs for audit purposes.
"The UAE Government Annual Meetings represent the harmonious and conform performance at the federal and local governments levels. They aim to reach an advanced level of national action to ensure sustainable development goals at all levels" said H.E. Dr. Harib Bin Saeed Al Amimi, President of the State Audit Institute (SAI),
He further stressed that the local governments audit entities, led by the State Audit Institute, play a pivotal role in supporting those developmental plans through their efforts to manage and use public funds with a high degree of efficiency and effectiveness, while ensuring best allocation of resources. This role requires the SAIs to develop their audit theories and work on building the professional capacities of auditors working in the public sector. A number of initiatives have been put in place leveraging information technology and AI in the audit processes, while other initiatives focus on exploring ways to increase university graduates majoring in financial audit.
He added that: "In the next phase, the audit entities will work to develop these initiatives and coordinate with the relevant bodies at the federal and local levels in order to implement these initiatives for the benefit of all stakeholders."
The meeting also witnessed launching the Smart Control and Audit Program, in a bid to design a state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence program capable of reading and analyzing big data and make well-informed decisions, in addition to other operations and tasks related to financial control and audit.
Furthermore, the meeting adopted the National Program to Qualify and Train Auditors initiative. The initiative aims to conduct studies and organize workshops to assess the state of the auditing profession in the public sector and increase the number of professionals in this area. It also targets producing results and recommendations to implement the strategy and launch the first practical program for training and employing national staff in the field of control and audit.
Participants emphasized the importance of the audit profession on the global level. This is reflected in the international organizations efforts to develop this sector through updating audit methodologies, and training; developing financial audit and accounting standards. They also stressed the importance of developing auditing academic programs and disciplines in public and private universities; and training accounting and auditing national staff according to the best internationally adopted criteria and practices.