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RSM exploring Microsoft's HoloLens to enhance audit efficiency

INSIGHT ARTICLE  | 

How RSM auditors review work papers in Japan, do inventory observations in Iowa and are home in time for dinner in Minnesota

RSM audit professionals are always seeking, developing and leveraging the latest trends in innovation to enhance the audit services we provide to clients. Most recently, after demos and breakout sessions at the Microsoft Technology Center in Minneapolis, audit partner Rick Kes and manager Marcus Rippentrop began experimenting with different ways of implementing HoloLens to do just that.

Microsoft’s HoloLens is an augmented reality headset that projects computer-generated images and tools onto a visor in front of the user’s eyes. To the user, these images appear as holograms existing as part of the surrounding world. The holograms adapt to the environment while interacting and functioning with the user’s eye and hand movements. “One of the future goals of using HoloLens would be to walk into a warehouse full of boxes and widgets, scan the room and the technology would tell you in an instant—with almost exact precision—how many items are in that room,” Kes said.

Our auditors have tested the program using the mixed reality headset to review workpapers remotely in Japan from offices in Minnesota. The team utilized these remote capabilities with clients in Iowa to complete inventory observations on a chicken farm and an ethanol plant. RSM’s ambitions for using augmented reality during an audit are growing. With the telecommunications industry continuing to expand deployment of 5G technology in 2020, we are exploring what this improved wireless infostructure will allow augmented reality to deliver to a broad section of our client base in metropolitan and rural locations. 

“Most importantly for our clients,” Kes said, “RSM’s innovations with HoloLens will reduce the cost of our services, save time and reduce the cost of direct expenses—all while increasing our audit accuracy and efficiency.” 

RSM’s dedication to using the latest in augmented reality innovations extends beyond the audit and into other lines of business. In tax, our experienced professionals are testing Micorsoft’s HoloLens technology to complete cost segregation studies. In consulting, we are examining further possibilities using this technology with sharp interest in supply chain management and ‘internet of things’ applications.

The exploratory studies with augmented reality at RSM are broadening our aspirations for what we can do for our clients. By using the latest technologies to subvert and evolve beyond the known limitations of traditional processes, RSM is finding new and smarter ways to deliver to our clients what we always have and will continue to—the power of being understood. 

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