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Engine B is an exciting cross-industry initiative which will transform corporate transactions and access to data, and we are pleased to be playing an integral role. Our members work in the public interest to build resilient businesses, economies and societies, while ensuring our planet’s resources are managed sustainably. Engine B will support and enable our 154,000 members around the world to thrive in a digital economy.
We are working with Engine B to develop and deliver common data models within Professional Services. We believe that common understanding, description and usage of data will invite greater usage of technology across both structured and unstructured data to drive innovation in both audit quality, but also next-generation audit and in other areas of professional services. Microsoft is collaborating with Engine B and looks forward to continued support over the coming years.
Ensuring we are working with quality data is important because it’s this data that underpins much of our work. When you first ingest data the Integration Engine will check and detect any errors straight away, and then it will transform data from any client system into a consistent format to start work from. Automating this process removes the chance of human error, which helps us stay on top of data quality, and provides assurance that we can maintain high standards for our clients.
Obtaining good quality, consistent data from clients is one of the most undervalued yet critical parts of the entire data auditing process. Manually extracting and transforming client data can be lengthy, frustrating and error-prone, often leading to sub-par outcomes and fractious client relationships. Technology like the Integration Engine automates these challenges and streamlines the whole extraction and transformation process, allowing auditors to make use of clients' data in a standard format time after time, regardless of client system or customisations. It opens a raft of opportunities to use data in new ways, driven by a unified common data model, saving time and energy, reducing the risk of errors, and helping auditors stay on top of data quality, all of which is hugely beneficial, not only for the auditor but also the client.
Client data is received in a variety of formats, meaning before we can analyse anything we normally have to spend hours manually organising and standardising the data. Before the Integration Engine this process could take between 2-3 hours, however we can now do it in less than 10 minutes. This makes us so much more efficient and frees up resources meaning we have more time for analysis.
Legacy methods of corporate data access in professional services are neither client centric, nor do they create the open and standard access method that we need if we are to drive innovation and broaden competition. Clients are now, rightly, expecting better when it comes to the way professional services firms access their data and we are hugely excited about the opportunities Engine B creates for disruption in this market.
The Integration Engine is so easy to use as it has a user-friendly interface and everything is clearly labelled and laid out, meaning we can carry out processes in a few clicks and gain access to a complete view of the client's accounting data for easier analysis and assessment.
The privacy and security of our client data is always a top priority, so knowing that the Integration Engine is in our security perimeter and that Engine B doesn’t see or use the client data is reassuring. Additionally, as the Integration Engine is built on Microsoft Azure components provides an extra layer of comfort.