RSM presents: Alteryx & Audit Shark Tank edition

Sep 23, 2020
Audit Innovation

The challenge

How many hours have you spent sending reports and notes to your auditors? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could automate your audit? What if we could use technology to reduce risk and ensure consistency with journal entry testing? Well, Alteryx may be the answer.

Over the summer, four RSM teams piloted the powerful data analytics platform and presented their use cases in a competition modeled after ABC’s Shark Tank, the reality TV show in which entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of investors.

In RSM’s Alteryx shark tank, the panel of sharks consisted of the firm’s internal Audit Innovation Steering Committee. Sharks judged teams on five areas:

  1. Best presentation
  2. Most unique/creative idea
  3. Best value proposition
  4. Most scalable use case
  5. Favorite use case

The pitch

The pilot teams focused on integrating Alteryx into the audit processes to automate: 

  • Transforming complex reports into usable data
  • Selecting journal entries for testing 
  • Inventory price testing and assessment of reserves 
  • Using character recognition to read source documents, such as invoices and purchase orders, and putting key data into audit workpapers 

RSM’s pilot teams got creative in using everything from live video demos to Star Wars-like trailers to thoroughly entertain our sharks and battle it out to present the best use case and win RSM-branded swag.

This was a lot of fun. When we think about the audit of the future and how it ties into our vision and our strategy, this project represents the innovation we need. The use case ideas developed in this exercise are exciting in the sense that they lead to a better talent experience by eliminating manual tasks, and a better client experience using automation that reduces their audit preparedness burden.
Joel Shamon, RSM's National audit leader

The winner is…

Our inaugural shark tank winners were … TEAM 3! Marcus Rippentrop (audit manager), Jubilee Krump (audit supervisor) and Jack Kneisel (audit manager) presented on inventory testing automation. 

“This has been a great opportunity to think about the future of the audit practice,” said Rippentop, the Team 3 leader. “It’s exciting to think where this technology could take us. This whole pilot group has been awesome in challenging our current practices and brainstorming the future of our audits.”

Where does RSM go from here? 

The audit innovation team is currently conducting another in-depth, targeted pilot of Alteryx. They will then compare Alteryx to other data analytics tools that RSM is piloting and connect with RSM’s Audit Data Analytics Center of Excellence to leverage their audit data analytics expertise. Stay tuned for the next episode and more exciting innovations to come!