< Case Studies

Ernst & Young promotes innovation in auditing by using automated counting

Many universities that teach auditing and accounting classes use CountThings as an example of innovation in inventory processes.

The EY Academic Resource Center (EYARC), sponsored by the Ernst & Young Foundation (US), is a state-of-the-art virtual resource center. EYARC provides staff from non-profit, higher education institutions withfree, leading-edge resources to prepare students for the fast-changing, global marketplace.

A case study titled Bryan’s Amazing Animals (BAA) is one of these leading-edge resources. It uses the CountThings software to expose students to the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology.

In this two-part case study, students are asked to assume the role of a consultant for BAA, a sheep farm that owns approximately 3,000 sheep. In completing this case, students will learn more about the inventory process in general. They will also learn how drones and automated counting software, CountThings, can be effectively used to make inventory counting and auditing more efficient and effective.

Part 1 gives the students background information about BAA and about the traditional inventory process. Students are asked to watch a few brief videos about BAA and how drones are being assessed for the digital audit work at EY. They are also required to research traditional inventory procedures and auditing standards and comment about their applicability in relation to new drone and automated counting software technology.

Part 2 asks students to learn how to utilize the CountThings software to perform inventory counts. The students receive one drone image taken above the sheep at BAA, then open it in CountThings to perform the inventory count.

They will determine whether an audit adjustment is required based on their final count. Students will then write a memo of up to two pages that will require them to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of this process and consider the implications that these new emerging technologies might have for the future of accounting and business inventory processes and stakeholders.

The EYARC is used by more than 3,400 staff at over 900 non-profit higher education institutions across 44 countries. For more information or to request access to the EYARC website, please send your first and last name, the name of your school, your school email address (not a personal email), and the URL of your faculty profile to eyarc@ey.com.