By ; Pakinam Khaled
PwC has won the 2019 International Accounting Bulletin's (IAB) 'Audit Innovation of the Year' Award for Cash.ai, a new tool that automates the audit of cash.
The award was presented to Gary Rapsey, Global Assurance Chief Innovation Officer, at The Digital Accountancy Forum & Awards held in London on 3 October. The IAB awards celebrate excellence in the accounting profession and recognise organisations that have made a major change in improving audit quality, efficiency or added value to clients.
Cash.ai uses AI to automatically read, understand and test client documents including reported cash balances, bank reconciliations, bank confirmation letters, foreign exchange and the financial condition of the bank - in essence, the complete audit of cash.
This innovation takes audit quality and efficiency to a new level by standardising the approach and harnessing intelligent automation to greatly reduce human bias and error. Cash.ai has so far been piloted Canada, Sweden and the UK and is currently being tested in the US. Plans are underway to pilot it with key Middle East clients later this year.
A team of global audit partners partnered with a world-class, Silicon valley, AI company with Kaggle Grand Master data scientists, and London-based UI/UX designers to develop Cash.ai. The use of driverless AI (using AI to build AI), allows the development of AI algorithms quickly and accurately, and enables Cash.ai to be deployed on an industrial scale without the need to employ an army of data scientists.
James Chalmers, Global Assurance Leader, PwC, said: “The audit of the future will involve people doing what they do best, such as applying judgement and dealing with ambiguity, and machines will do what they do best, such as processing, reviewing and testing huge quantities of data. Cash.ai demonstrates our commitment to investing in technologies to keep the audit fit for purpose and relevant for the future.”
Mohamed ElBorno, Middle East Assurance Leader, PwC, said: “Cash.ai represents a quantum leap in the use of technology in the audit, intelligently automating not just elements of the audit of cash, but the whole end-to-end process. I am delighted that we will be able to pilot the technology with key Middle East clients in the coming months and enable our teams to do what they do best – understand the business, think critically, drive quality and deliver insight.”
This is the third time PwC have won this award. Halo and GL.ai tools were recognised as best innovations in audit by the IAB in 2016 and 2017, respectively.