EUROSAI. Magazine N26 - 2021

EUROSAI 128 Studies and other articles risks and minimize their effects because factors such as decreased internal control efficiency or increased pressures on management lead to new risks of material misstatements due to fraud or error. Additionally, some of the planned procedures have become impracticable under current circumstances. For those reasons, we have 134 risk analysis scenarios, each evaluating municipalities on the basis of different criteria. They are being assessed by taking into account their budget size, investments, incomes, transaction numbers and volumes, size of their expenses, and demographic structures, and then they are graded and grouped by their risk profiles. As a result of each scenario, municipalities are given a score from 1 to 5 based on their risk levels. At the end, municipalities with higher total scores are considered riskier than others. Auditors evaluate the nature of these items and stratify them in terms of their risk levels. All reports are automated and can be seen by auditors for planning and execution of audits and by top management for the strategic planning of audits. The results are not sent to auditees directly, but are shared with them by the auditors. As auditors needed access to large data files in the corporate database, a cloud system was created under the name of “SayDrive”, enabling the auditor to have access to big volumes of data and to share information with other auditors. Conclusion Although we know that the pandemic will continue to affect our activities, the remaining uncertainty about the future of the pandemic decreases our chances of making a full assessment on the future of the auditing profession. We believe that remote auditing will be the new normal, and the use of digital technologies will ease the ongoing limitations. During the remote working period, VERA made a great contribution lot to the execution of the audit. Auditors could continue their work without interruption since the data produced by the audited institutions was uploaded to VERA on a constant basis. Our system enabled constant monitoring and reduced dependence on physical documentation, lessening the need for travelling. By using the analysis scenarios, erroneous or risky transactions were quickly detected, and the auditees were contacted on time. The system provided an objective and knowledgeable set of eyes and an opportunity for auditors to make more informed risk assessments. Additionally, since the data is stored in a central database, data security is ensured. Furthermore, the process of detecting risks and errors through various analyses reduced the risk of uncorrected misstatements and material errors in future financial statements because of the cumulative effect. All in all, as a result of accelerated adoption of new audit techniques, concentrated and continuous monitoring, decreased dependence on physical documentation, detailed risk assessment providing early warnings and increasing assurance levels, and accelerated reporting, the pandemic has brought us closer to the goal of a higher quality, more efficient and forward-looking audit.