Overcome statistical sampling risks in audits

Matt Sutorius and his team use Valid8 to speed up their auditing processes — often doing what a senior auditor can do in 2-3 days in just 1 hour.
Matt Sutorius

I'm Matt Sutorius. I'm a partner with Clark Nuber. We're a public accounting firm in the Pacific Northwest. By trade, I'm a financial statement auditor. Mostly I work with emerging technology companies and startups all across the Pacific Northwest.

It has always made me a little bit nervous that we rely so heavily on sampling and statistical samples, which means if I'm looking at a huge amount of revenue with thousands and thousands of transactions, I might look at 20 of them or 40 of them and try to get comfort over the entire balance by just looking at those 40. It means having a CPA who's gone to school for five years and have two degrees match one number from a bank statement to another number from a general ledger, which as you might imagine is not the best use of their time.

The first time we tested Valid8 on a job, we were able to take a process that would usually take one of our senior auditors two or three days a time, and it took about an hour to accomplish not only the same thing, but to get near 100% coverage, which means I can have better conversations with my clients because I'm not spending them looking at bank statements.

And then on the flip side, if I have that knowledge that 99% of your revenues have been received or your receivables are up-to-date, I can have more informed conversations with clients in a way that they understand. No client really cares about my statistical sampling methodology for how I tested revenue, but having a conversation about what they've collected during the year is meaningful and real.

I'm pretty active in Clark Nuber's recruiting and interview process right now, and I bring up software like Valid8 in nearly every interview because it's a differentiator for us. And we can tell people, "Listen, we'll have a system, AI will take care of this part of the audit, so you can be doing the more interesting tasks and having those high level conversations much earlier in your career."

I think Valid8 will change the auditing industry. I think the ability to look at 100% of a population instantly and instantly look at the cash journal and see that everything that the client says happened did happen on the bank statements in real time, then we can shift to just auditing journal entries and auditing the unusual things and management can have confidence that the other stuff is correct.

It will change how we audit to get up to a level of coverage that you did not think would be possible before, and to do it in a timeframe that's really unheard of in the industry.

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