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17th GAB Annual Seminar The Role of Digital Transformation in Enhancing the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Public Sector Auditing


Background

      Digital transformation is dramatically changing the way work is done, by leveraging on the great technological development that is taking place nowadays. Among many sectors, public sector organizations increasingly invest in digital transformation to serve users in a faster and better way. This is due to the fact that they need to stay updated with the advancements of the technological innovations in order to stay on top of their performances. The public sector auditing is considered among the most critical stages of the economic transformation when it comes to digitization. Thus, digital transformation plays an important role in the improvement of efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector auditing.

  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is emphasizing on new technologies to build effective, competitive, and sustainable society, by taking advantage of the massive capabilities that digital transformation offers. Government entities are digitizing their businesses, leading to different work environments, business processes and operating models. Auditors must be well trained for such changes. They must be ready to handle the increasing volume of data, identify risks, detect business insights, and use them for the delivery of accurate reports. The increase in connectivity and the ongoing advancements of technology forces the constant digitization of the audit to ensure full control and precise analysis.

  In 2015, the General Auditing Bureau (GAB) was keen to implement electronic procedures that would help in facilitating the automation of its processes. This plan was a result of the Kingdom's 2030 vision for creating smart cities. This cutting-edge auditing platform was designed to adapt to the ever-changing and ever-evolving environment as well as with the development of the related entities. Its main objective was to connect all government entities while establishing electronic monitoring solutions to enhance productivity and effectiveness, leading to improved auditing results.

  After five years of innovation, GAB was able to improve and automate services and processes to control operations between the bureau and its related entities. They facilitated the exchange of data and documents, the collection of key indicators and analysis, and reduced paperwork and operation costs. The GAB made sure to stay aligned with all international standards and with the Saudi Vision 2030 with the bureau looking towards linking around 1000 government and semi-government entities. Till now, more than 600 entities have been connected. According to some speculations, the rest will be accomplished soon. With this technological development, auditors gain confidence in financial reporting. It will help them enhance connectivity and improve time efficiency, which will help them focus on areas that need more attention, helping them progress in analysis. The entities going through auditing will benefit as well. They will be able to experience a more effective audit, which can provide them with more risk insights and new viewpoints.

  The GAB aims at selecting the topic for the seminar to benefit from the expertise of speakers and other countries' experience in this regard. It is also expected that the speakers will provide a theoretical coverage of the relevant control concepts and an overview of the practical applications associated with auditing. The recommendations of the 17th seminar are expected to contribute to the GAB in its next task in following up and monitoring the phases of digitization of public sector auditing.

The impact of Smart Digital Hubs on Public Sector Auditing: Solutions and techniques.

      With the advancement of technology, Organizations globally are no longer handling human-generated data only. They are expanding their digital capabilities to further enhance quality and performance. Data - both structured and unstructured - has become machine-generated, and it is growing exponentially. As every industry becomes digitized, organizations need to enable faster innovation to drive business outcomes through the Smart Digital Hubs (SDHs). SDHs help to accelerate digital transformation in all areas of businesses, by producing and developing smart machines and systems using the existing digital transformation techniques, such as RPA, AI and analysis of Big Data.

  Big Data is affecting productivity, management, and profits. It analyzes the bulk of data that organizations are being faced with and gives them relevant meaning. Auditing is one of the areas where Big Data analysis is showing significant potential. Today, with economic bumpiness, auditors are having more difficulties in sustaining performance quality. They must serve the public interest by remaining on top of their tasks while delivering accurate insights.

  Using SMART Digital Hubs, audit firms are focusing on overcoming everyday challenges such as Fraud, Risk, Data and Processes Complexity, Authentication, Documentation, and Reports. The challenges mentioned above are just some of the common pitfalls affecting both the auditees and the auditors. A Smart Digital Hub embeds RPA, AI, and analytics technologies, reshaping the auditing world for the better. With the use of these intelligent technologies, audits will reach the improved quality of work and more relevant business insights. They will be able to recognize fraud and risk easily and will better prepare the financial reports.

  This panel will discuss the impact of SMART Digital Hubs on public sector auditing, how AI, RPA, and other innovative technologies are impacting the industry. The speakers are expected to discuss the following questions:

1- What is the impact of digital transformation on auditing?
2- How do you explain SMART Digital Hubs in the auditing industry?
3- What are the benefits of embedding digital techniques in Smart Digital Hubs?

The roadmap to Smart Auditing in the public sector: Challenges and opportunities.

      Nowadays, auditors are considering the advancements of innovative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, RPA, and Big Data in their IT audit systems for better outcomes. These technologies can help auditors generate more accurate information and get a more comprehensive and real-time view of the economic situation of the entity they are working with. Audit organization should enable the culture of innovation to achieve desired and successful transformation.

  Digital transformation has become an essential aspect of today's market. It is used to create new processes or even improve the existing ones to meet with the ever-changing business requirements, along with redefining the necessary actions for activation and implementation. It is essential to mention how impactful digitalization is on the Accounting and Auditing industry, although many challenges are still yet to be thought-out.

  Ensuring security comes first. Data protection is one significant challenge, especially with the evolution of cybercriminals. Also, throughout their digitization journey, organizations should always be updated on regulatory requirements such as GDPR and other regulations. Auditors should also focus on Data management and governance. For accuracy and improved quality of work, they need to emphasize three critical phases: data collection, data processing, and reporting.

  Auditors should strengthen their bond with IT specialists to guarantee the latest technologies and trends and the successful development of digital capabilities. Looking at it from another perspective, auditors should focus on the recruitment strategy and the required qualifications. New employees should be skilled in IT to be able to keep up with the latest analysis tools and digital platforms. Nevertheless, training programs should be offered to their current employees to prepare them and inform them of the potential that new technologies will bring. Universities should also update their IT programs to provide their students with the latest trends and techniques to prepare them for their upcoming jobs.

  This panel will discuss the many challenges that audit organizations are confronted with during their Digital Transformation journey as well as the many facets that should be taken into consideration before the initiation of the project. The speakers are expected to discuss the following questions:

1- What are the pre-requisites for a complete digital transformation in the auditing industry?
2- How to encourage proactivity to overcome future challenges?
3- How to ensure a seamless and successful deployment of a digital platform?
4- What are the challenges that might be faced during this transformation journey, and why?

Organaizional Entity

[General Auditing Bureau]

[ The registration link is not available ]

Tel :
011 402 9255

Fax :
011 404 3887

Email :
sc@gab.gov.sa
alagla@gab.gov.sa