Automating compliance assurance

Will the 2020's be the decade of transformations that sees automated compliance become mainstream? The exponential rise in artificial intelligence (AI) capability has the potential to innovate and disrupt traditional compliance models.

In this paper we ask the following questions to consider the potential impact of AI on what we think of as automated compliance assurance:

  1. This is still a way off….right?
  2. How does AI relate to compliance assurance?
  3. Will this change internal auditing?
  4. What can audit leaders do?

This is still a way off….right?

Wrong. The capability is here today.

The question is when not if our organisations will begin to use it.

  • In the judiciary field, judges are being supported by AI to analyse cases, improve compliance with laws, remove bias and aid decision making for sentencing.
  • Boeing 777 pilots use AI technology and typically only fly the plane for 7 minutes during a flight. Not only is this efficient, but it also reduces the risk of non-compliance with protocols, thereby enhancing audit trails.
  • Chatbots are run by AI where information provided is pre-determined/controlled, improving compliance in addition to capturing data and learning from interactions.

 Advances in AI and machine learning enable big data to be processed, screened and analysed with accuracy in real-time; it takes cognitive computing to a level where programs go beyond analysis to draw conclusions. Data can be qualitative, categorical, narrative or quantitative and numerical.

 Auditors and compliance officers cannot compete with AI.

AI is a disruptive technology. Unlike proprietary innovations that are protected, experts suggest that AI is being ‘democratised’ through open source, communities and cloud computing. Basically, this means it can be accessed and developed quickly at a relatively low cost.  

In many industries (automotive, banking, manufacturing) compliance automation was limited to software that uses AI to simplify compliance procedures. Not…