Digitalising stocktaking

7th June 2019

As the world becomes more digital, it leaves us wondering where further efficiencies could be achieved through switching to more high-tech methods. One possible area for auditors is stocktaking.

For an audited entity with significant levels of stock at the year end, it is likely the auditor will want to perform test counts of the stock to ensure its accuracy. This is traditionally performed by way of spot checks, testing a certain number of items from the stock records and tracing to the physical stock, and then testing a number of items found on the stock shelves back to the stock records.

One emerging method in the audit community is using drones to provide more data. Take for example companies in the agriculture sector. Drones could be used to fly over fields and digitally collect data with regards to the size of fields. Data that is collected by the drones can be used to create a digital map of the stock and from this digital map it can then be measured.

Using drones could also assist with asset impairment assessments, being able to fly the drone over remote and hard to access areas of buildings and other assets.

It is thought that using drones for auditing could improve efficiency and accuracy of the work.

There is however a number of challenges, such as ensuring safety and risk assessments are performed. In addition, we will first need to learn how to fly a drone!

If you have thoughts on the above or the future of the audit industry, get in touch with me at


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