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Danny McCance 13 Jun 2017 12:59pm

EY to take to the sky with new audit drones

The Big Four firm has revealed plans to expand its use of drones to improve the audit process

EY said it will initially test in the manufacturing and retail sectors. The firm said it could use drones to count units in an automotive manufacturing plant, or to conduct an automated stock count in a warehouse.

The project will utilise the technology to improve the accuracy and frequency of inventory counts.

The asset-tracking system, cloud-based and connected via the internet of things, will read quick response labels and then upload the information.

“We have been testing the use of drones in the audit process for several months and the findings have been compelling,” said Hermann Sidhu, EY global assurance digital leader.

“It’s now time to scale our testing globally across multiple sectors, as we know that many audits can benefit from the use of this innovative technology.

“It’s just one of many ways that we are working to embed the very latest technologies into our audit processes to further improve audit quality,” he added.

The firm will also look to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) to further enhance the project.

Last month, the firm appointed machine learning and AI expert Nigel Duffy as global innovation artificial intelligence leader in its global innovation team.

This came just a few weeks after PwC appointed Euan Cameron to the newly created role of UK artificial intelligence (AI) leader.

Meanwhile last year, PwC opened a global drone centre in Poland to help clients solve their business challenges.

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