Virginia Collins, CPA, CITP, CFE, is a member of the AICPA CITP Credential Committee. She has more than 30 years of accounting, auditing and tax experience. Virginia specializes in the quality review of audits in the areas of employee benefit plans, HUD, real estate, non-profit and commercial engagements.
In both her private and public experience Virginia has done extensive work in internal controls and Section 404 compliance. Virginia has led numerous training seminars on internal control and in the 404 compliance area for both her clients and her professional colleagues.
IMTA: What role has technology played in changing the way you do your work?
Virginia: I continue to explore ways that we can use technology in performing audits. My main focus of course is CAATs (Computer Assisted Audit Techniques). Technology has definitely helped in eliminating some of the non-value added steps of crunching the numbers. I use Active Data and Idea to perform audit tests that were not possible or took too long manually. I continue to learn each week on data science and CAATs. There is not enough time in the day to learn what is going on in this exploding field.
IMTA: What are some of your most helpful tools?
Virginia: Active Data, Excel and IDEA are the tools that I currently use the most. I’m learning Power Pivot, Power Query, and Power BI Desktop. These amazing business intelligence tools are a game changer not only for individual CPAs but for small businesses as well.
IMTA: What have you found has been the biggest misconception about utilizing technology when auditing?
Virginia: The biggest misconception is the lack of understanding of how much time technology can save while increasing quality. The saved time can be spent on selling to the client more value added services. Companies are looking for CPAs to help them with strategy and their assistance with technology.
IMTA: What would you tell someone who is resistant to change in this new auditing age?
Virginia: Change is going to happen anyway. No one can stop change. They will be left behind. They will not be the go-to person anymore. I would sight real life examples such as the music industry. They fought the change, but it happened anyway.
If you enjoyed reading a snippet of Virginia’s insights on auditing in the information age, you would probably enjoy Virginia’s upcoming webcast, “Computer Assisted Audit Techniques (“CAATs”) for All”, scheduled for April 20 at 1p.m. ET. During the webcast, Virginia will identify cost-effective and user-friendly CAATs tools.
This webcast is free with two CPE credits for all IMTA Section members and CITP credential holders. For your convenience, you will be automatically enrolled in this event. You will receive an email from our webcast vendor, On24, inviting you to join. Your participation is optional, and the automatic enrollment process is offered as a convenience. However, if you miss the pre-registration, you can visit the AICPA Store and follow the usual check-out procedure. Your discount will be automatically applied at check-out.
Source: AICPA InfoTech