On the Frontlines: AI in 'IA'
Blogs Alex Rusate, CIA, CRMA, CCSA May 17, 2023
Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform the internal audit profession. ChatGPT, a large language model trained by OpenAI and based on the GPT-3.5 architecture, is an AI tool that can help internal auditors in various phases of their audit work. This blog post is a good example of that kind of teamwork: I co-wrote it with ChatGPT. What follows are examples of ways internal audit can leverage the power of ChatGPT— with some caveats for privacy concerns.
The planning phase is a critical phase of the audit process where the internal auditor defines the audit objectives, scope, and methodology. ChatGPT can be used in this phase to analyze large volumes of data and identify patterns and trends that may not be immediately apparent to human auditors. By using ChatGPT, internal auditors can save time and effort in identifying potential risks and opportunities for improvement. ChatGPT can also help internal auditors develop audit plans and testing procedures based on the insights it provides.
ChatGPT can also be used to educate internal auditors about the process under audit and its relevant risks. By inputting data related to the process, ChatGPT can provide a detailed understanding of the process and the risks involved. This can be particularly useful for internal auditors who are not familiar with the process or are new to the organization.
Further, ChatGPT can help internal auditors to identify potential areas for improvement in the audit process itself. As internal auditors input data into ChatGPT, the platform can analyze the data and suggest ways to improve the audit process. This can help internal auditors in developing more effective and efficient audit plans, testing procedures, and reporting methodologies.
The testing phase is where internal auditors gather evidence to support their audit findings. ChatGPT can be used in this phase to analyze and interpret data, including financial and non-financial data. ChatGPT can help internal auditors in identifying anomalies, trends, and patterns in the data that may require further investigation. ChatGPT can also help internal auditors in identifying areas of the business where testing should be focused and can even suggest potential audit procedures based on the data it analyzes.
The reporting phase is where internal auditors communicate their audit findings to the relevant stakeholders. ChatGPT can be used in this phase to generate automated reports that are accurate, comprehensive, and timely. ChatGPT can also help internal auditors in identifying the root causes of issues and provide recommendations for improvement. ChatGPT can even suggest remedial actions that can be taken to address the identified issues.
The monitoring phase is where internal auditors ensure that the management has taken appropriate actions to address the audit findings. ChatGPT can be used in this phase to monitor the implementation of the recommended actions and identify any further areas for improvement. ChatGPT can also help internal auditors identify emerging risks and opportunities that may require additional attention.
One of the most significant concerns with the use of ChatGPT in the internal audit process is privacy. Internal auditors need to be aware of the privacy risks associated with the use of ChatGPT and take appropriate measures to mitigate those risks. It is essential to ensure that the data entered into ChatGPT is anonymized and that sensitive information is not shared or stored on the platform. Additionally, internal auditors need to ensure they have the appropriate consent and authorization to use the data in ChatGPT.
Treat it as a Tool
ChatGPT is a powerful AI tool that can help internal auditors in various phases of their audit work. By leveraging the capabilities of ChatGPT, internal auditors can save time, enhance their efficiency and effectiveness, and improve the quality of their audit work. However, internal auditors need to be aware of the privacy concerns associated with the use of ChatGPT and take appropriate measures to mitigate those risks. By doing so, internal auditors can leverage the capabilities of ChatGPT, while also safeguarding the confidentiality and privacy of sensitive data.