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ALICE is a platform enabled with intelligent automation allowing comprehensive digital auditing solutions to be delivered by BDO. Picture: SUPPLIED/BDO
ALICE is a platform enabled with intelligent automation allowing comprehensive digital auditing solutions to be delivered by BDO. Picture: SUPPLIED/BDO

BDO has concluded a deal to make the fourth industrial revolution a reality for the auditing profession. This deal gives BDO exclusivity among the top five audit firms.

BDO has taken a bold digital leap into a new world of assurance and advisory by hiring ALICE, the worker of the future, the great disrupter, and one of the world’s first digital employees.

So, what does ALICE actually do? 

How about providing those charged with governance with maximum assurance across all aspects of their control environments? How about testing financial statements of the company efficiently and at higher levels of quality than traditional sample-based approaches? How about auditing continuously? This is just the beginning of ALICE's potential, which is our first step on an exciting journey of digitally transforming professional services.

What does ALICE mean for BDO’s clients?

“One of our clients asked how we managed to audit their entire balances, such as revenue, in under 15 minutes while providing them with valuable insights,” says Nevellan Moodley, head of financial services technology at BDO. “This shouldn’t be remarkable; this should be exactly how business is done these days. This is the Age of Information, and it’s our job to deliver it.” This is real and has been delivered on SA and global audit and assurance engagements.

BDO’s disruptive culture

ALICE is a platform enabled with intelligent automation allowing comprehensive digital auditing solutions to be delivered by BDO, aimed at changing traditional approaches to professional services. It’s a weapon of mass disruption wielded by BDO to change traditional approaches into frictionless experiences. While BDO is one of the first professional services firms in SA to take the leap into the robotic realm, the move is hardly surprising. The company has established a reputation for making bold moves that reshape the services it delivers and how the profession is perceived.

Why BDO?

“The ALICE team was looking for a partnership that aligned with their vision, agility and entrepreneurship — a partnership where one plus one equals five. BDO was the perfect match to exponentially accelerate the capability and global distribution of this game-changing disruption. 

“This partnership was also facilitated by the deliberate strategic moves we have made in the past 24 months to integrate technology professionals into all areas of the business. Our vision is to disrupt this industry as effectively as global names such as Uber and Airbnb have disrupted theirs,” says Moodley. “To achieve this, we are always looking at new technologies, new ways of working and new ways of disrupting what we offer our clients. We are taking BDO on a digital journey that’s just the beginning with ALICE.”

BDO leading the pack

Different from its competitors who spend a lot of money marketing their solutions globally, which then never make our shores, BDO has real use-cases on SA and global clients within the network.

BDO tracked the trends influencing professional services globally and found that traditional approaches are becoming irrelevant to organisations facing changing risk landscapes and complexities. As they transform digitally at speed, auditing and advisory has to be one step ahead to be relevant to their clients. 

“Auditors have always needed to add value to their clients, to find ways of unpacking value from within legacy and historical data and to provide real-time solutions to business challenges,” says Lauren Berrington, chief audit executive at Bidvest and creator of ALICE. “They are also drawn to companies that sit on the cutting edge of development and innovation, which is where BDO is taking the profession today. This is a business culture that’s ready for ALICE and that can really take her abilities in unexpected directions.”

Armed with intelligent automation, cognitive capabilities, secure digital services, and an API-enabled and industry-agnostic platform, ALICE is your solution finder, digital accelerator, audit and advisory disrupter and data collaborator. And, as another incredibly talented BDO employee, ALICE is ready to transform the way you do business. 

Africa is a unique market. Global technology solutions have failed as they are not fit-for-purpose. African problems and African clients need African solutions. Welcome to the power of ALICE.

This article was paid for by BDO SA.

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