DUBAI- The Digital Audit & Fraud Analytics Conference concluded in Dubai with HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, the exclusive keynote opening address speaker, stressing on the need to adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) in audit strategies and techniques.

Dubbed the godfather of accounting, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh who started his career as an auditor 60 years ago said "Since AI is changing all aspects of our lives, whether in business, education, communication, medicine and agriculture however and until now the audit profession did not respond to AI."  

"The only way forward for this profession is for internal auditors to be empowered with AI based tools which allow them to effectively correlate, aggregate and normalize data from systems and assist them in driving insights into the effectiveness of organizational risk management activities," Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh who served on the boards of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and chairman of United Nations International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (UN ISAR), said.

Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh stressed on the fact that soon the profession will be heading into another more advanced reality and not fiction or fantasy saying: "Imagine having an AI system that collects all relevant structured and unstructured big data, processes it and displays a comprehensive risk assessment of the organization with appropriate controls which auditors can drill into in more detail and even question using natural language and judgment."

He also reassured that this technology will not replace auditors.

"I see a different scenario unfolding. I believe that auditors will be freed to exercise judgment and perform valuable tasks and will have a range of additional skills that will allow them to use such AI systems to provide greater auditing depth and remove human errors and bias. This profession will be enabled by AI rather than being taken over by AI," he added.

Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh stated that AI brings with it a wealth of opportunities for those who have the foresight to act now.

"That is why I instructed my e-solutions development team at Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Global (TAG.Global) to work on developing a comprehensive AI TECH Auditor which will have embedded in it all best practices, risks, controls and expertise from internal auditors who work in my firm. To build knowledge workers of the future, I have established Talal Abu-Ghazaleh University College for Innovation (TAGUCI), a university where students can excel in the field of AI so we will not be left behind," he said.

Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh, chair of the UN ICT Task Force and UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development, has developed a strong passion for everything high tech and has written "The Brave Knowledge World" a reflection of his commitment to presenting his lifelong vision of a future knowledge-based world. The book explores many anticipated knowledge issues including the impact of AI, and its impending dominance, on the development and transformation of various sectors. 

"I look to the future with optimism. We live in a great time of technological change which also brings challenges and opportunities. Let us embrace the best of what technology can bring for the sake of our next generation," he concluded. 

The 3-day event presented real-life case studies, fresh insights, industry trends and leading best practices to enhance Audit Digitization role involving AI, Robotic Process Automation, Cybersecurity and Data Analytics with the participation of delegates representing global entities.