North-West University alumnus Jan-Pierre Botes, a chartered accountant, registered auditor and industry specialist, recently presented a guest lecture on the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) on external auditing at the NWU’s Vanderbijlpark Campus.
The lecture was attended by enthusiastic Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting and Accounting honours students, interested to learn how the 4IR would integrate with conventional auditing methods and what to expect as they transition into practice. It provided a valuable opportunity for students to learn about the latest trends in the external auditing profession and how they can use technology to improve their skills and knowledge.
Jan-Pierre discussed the key technologies driving the 4IR – such as artificial intelligence, big data, data analytics, robotics, and machine learning. He also used various examples to explain how the use of these technologies can improve efficiency, effectiveness, and risk assessment in the external auditing profession through various examples.
“For instance, artificial intelligence is used to automate repetitive tasks such as data entry and analysis, and robotics are used to perform physical tasks such as inspecting physical assets,” he explained.
Jan-Pierre also discussed the challenges and opportunities that the 4IR presents to the external auditing profession.
“One challenge is that the 4IR is constantly evolving, so external auditors need to constantly learn and adapt. Furthermore, the 4IR is creating additional fraud opportunities necessitating auditors to be more vigilant than ever. However, the 4IR also presents opportunities for auditors to improve their efficiency and effectiveness, and to provide more value to their clients.”
The lecture was well-received by the students, who asked many questions. Jan-Pierre thanked them for their enthusiasm and engagement, and encouraged them to embrace the 4IR and use it to their advantage in their careers.
From left are Kurt Naicker, Jan-Pierre Botes, Monique du Plessis and Trisha Sukhari.