Bill is the National Managing Partner and Practice Leader of BDO USA’s $800M Assurance practice as of July 1, 2019. He reports directly to the CEO and is responsible for 63 offices and 3,000 Assurance personnel across the United States.
When you think about a firm like ours as opposed to the Big Four, and how this is really happening now, it’s really going to change the landscape significantly over the next few years. I’m glad I did this in February before COVID hit in March, so we were able to get through quite a few engagements where we actually stopped and watched what the auditors did, interacting with them while they were doing the audits live. After they spent a lot of time in the month of February doing that, they came back to me with a shocking list at the time. They came back to me with 79 individual automations that they thought they could execute at the engagement level. It’s over 100 now. We’re a 5.2 million-hour audit practice, and they thought they could save 1.7 million hours at the time by eliminating the human element and incorporating technology. That’s like 30 to 35% of the time we spent on our engagements. My initial reaction was that seems like a lot, but even if they’re half right, or even a third right, if we can eliminate even 10%, that would be an astronomical savings. You could eliminate 500,000 hours, or 800,000 hours, from a 5.2 million hour practice by automating.1 July 2021