PwC has made a significant investment in pioneering artificial intelligence (AI) for the audit. For the past 24 months, we have partnered with a leading Silicon Valley company – to build a revolutionary bot that uses AI and machine learning to ‘x-ray’ a business, analysing billions of data points in milliseconds, seeing what humans can’t, and applying judgement to detect anomalies in the general ledger. Called GL.ai, it is the first module of PwC’s Audit.ai.
GL.ai was named the 'Audit Innovation of the Year' by the International Accounting Bulletin in October 2017.
“The reason this is such a brilliant tool is its ability to look at different risks, in context, at the same time. For example, it would be uneconomical for an auditor to look at every single user’s pattern of activity to decide what’s unusual. With GL.ai, the algorithms do it for us.”
GL.ai harnesses PwC’s global knowledge and experience, embedding it in algorithms trained to replicate the thinking and decision-making of expert auditors. It examines every uploaded transaction, every user, every amount and every account to find unusual transactions (indicating potential error or fraud) in the general ledger, without bias or variability. And the more we use GL.ai, the smarter it gets.
GL.ai has been successfully trialled on 20 audits in 12 countries including Canada, Germany, Sweden and the UK.
Experience confirms that GL.ai speeds up the audit process, generates insights that boost efficiency, and provides comfort that attention is being focused on areas of true risk. These benefits are a direct result of GL.ai’s ability to analyse huge amounts of data, not limited by sampling.
The next Audit.ai modules are in development. They are set to revolutionise the audit, enhancing client service, quality and efficiency, and giving our people more time to do what machines can’t: thinking strategically and engaging, communicating and building the relationships needed to turn data insights into business action.