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Five Industry Trends Driving the Future of Risk Advisory Services

As businesses face an ever-evolving risk landscape, the need for Risk Advisory Services (RAS) continues to grow exponentially. From cybersecurity, privacy & ESG, to financial risk management, RAS professionals focus on a range of mitigation strategies and risk frameworks, including SOC 1 & 2, PCI 4.0, HITRUST, HIPAA, CMMC, and many more. Much like a realtor guides a homeowner through the buying and selling process, RAS professionals guide their clients through the risk management lifecycle, from readiness assessments to audits, and in many cases, through the internal audit process as well. 

Recently, Jin Chang, CEO and Co-Founder of Fieldguide, spoke on Intuit’s AccounTrends Podcast about the vital importance of RAS and how Fieldguide is shaping the future of the audit and advisory profession by delivering the first and only RAS Technology Platform. Join us as we delve into the key takeaways from this conversation.

Key Takeaway #1: The industry must combat burnout 

If you're like most people, you've probably experienced burnout at some point in your career. Unfortunately, burnout in the audit and advisory profession is at an all time high. It’s a widespread problem that needs to be addressed in order for the profession to continue to thrive.

Fieldguide CEO, Jin Chang, has experienced burnout first-hand as a former auditor at EY. After years of conducting audits the traditional way, Jin realized the overabundance of manual tasks and outdated processes contributed heavily to practitioner burnout, and he knew there had to be a better way. That's why he co-founded Fieldguide - to revolutionize the way risk and compliance services are delivered.

As Jin shares in the podcast, Fieldguide is working to solve the problem of burnout by streamlining the audit process, making it faster, more efficient, and less painful for everyone involved. And with the enthusiastic response from customers, it's clear that Fieldguide is onto something game-changing for the profession.

But it's not just about making life easier for practitioners. By improving the audit process, Fieldguide is also helping companies stay compliant with regulations and protect themselves against cybersecurity threats. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Key Takeaway #2: Technology is the key to addressing the talent shortage

While finding good talent is a problem that's affecting every industry, the audit and advisory profession has been hit the hardest. Particularly concerning is the growing scarcity of practitioners who specialize in risk and compliance services. These are highly specialized services that require a unique set of skills and expertise, making it even more difficult to hire the right talent for the job.

But why is this problem getting worse? One major reason is the global shift towards digitalization, accelerated by the pandemic. As businesses around the world embarked on digital transformation, the demand for cybersecurity and privacy-related risk services skyrocketed. This has put even more pressure on audit and advisory firms to build and grow their RAS practices. However, firms are struggling to find the right talent to meet the increased demand.

This is where Fieldguide comes in. Fieldguide’s cloud-based platform bridges the gap between the demand for RAS and the dwindling supply of necessary talent. By leveraging technology and streamlining the audit process, Fieldguide customers are solving the capacity problem in several ways. For some, the technology is enabling them to deliver twice as many client engagements with the same headcount. Others report that they can now recruit more tech-savvy risk professionals who are looking to work for modern, tech-enabled firms. For many firms, the ability to keep the staff they have is a challenge, and making audits less painful has vastly improved retention.

Moreover, it's not just about solving a capacity problem - it's about providing better client service. By utilizing the latest technology and expertise, Fieldguide is helping firms stay ahead of the curve when it comes to delivering exceptional client experiences. Firms using Fieldguide have seen a measurable improvement in client satisfaction, as well as a competitive advantage over firms using outmoded software to run their RAS practices.

Key Takeaway #3: Clients choose firms with modern, tech-enabled RAS practices

Companies are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their compliance and risk management practices, and they want to work with firms who understand the technology landscape. Why should they trust a firm to audit their entire cloud hosting environment if that firm is still using on-premise legacy software? Clients need to see that firms understand the world of cybersecurity before they can trust them to provide strategic advice on cybersecurity issues. In fact, industry studies show that four out of five clients would consider switching accounting firms to one that uses the latest technology.

Key Takeaway #4: New compliance standards are emerging every day

Large companies like Microsoft and Shiseido are already developing their own compliance frameworks and mandating that their supply chain comply with these standards. Apple has already rolled out the Supplier Code of Conduct to its partner network. These standards outline the company's expectations for environmental and social responsibility, including labor and human rights, health and safety, and environmental protection. And Walmart has created its own sustainability index to assess the environmental and social impact of its products. Walmart uses this standard to evaluate products based on factors such as energy efficiency, waste reduction, and ethical sourcing. In this context, audit and advisory firms play a critical role helping organizations and their partners navigate and comply with these standards. 


Key Takeaway #5: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: The next paradigm shift

The world of Risk Advisory Services has always been a people-driven business, where finding the right team members is crucial to success. While technology can enhance the service offering, it is not a substitute for the expertise, experience, and credentials that are required. However, technology can help to boost the quality of work and create efficiencies, particularly in areas that humans are not particularly skilled at performing.

As a company that specializes in helping audit and advisory firms achieve their growth objectives through leading-edge technology, it is no surprise that Fieldguide is building AI and machine learning into its platform. We are already building AI that can make automated recommendations across risk frameworks. We’re also actively working on more advanced technologies, where AI can be used to review client documentation, analyze it for compliance gaps, and suggest remediations to close those gaps.

Bottomline, Fieldguide is a company that is revolutionizing the Risk Advisory Services market by delivering the only intelligent automation and collaboration platform built for audit and advisory firms. Their unique approach, combining practitioner experience with technology expertise, is helping firms combat burnout, manage the talent shortage, and deliver a better client experience. With a focus on enabling technology while keeping people as the main value drivers of the business, Fieldguide is changing the game for risk professionals.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Fieldguide can help your organization, please fill out this form to speak with our team!

And be sure to listen to the entire podcast episode here

Angela Goldberg

VP Marketing

Results-oriented, business-to-business marketing professional with 25 years of experience developing and executing strategic, integrated marketing plans that drive revenue, increase demand, and enhance brand equity.

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