Our human-led, tech-powered approach brings together the deep knowledge of our auditors with powerful technology, tools and capabilities.

We use technology throughout our audits, from risk assessment analytics in planning to artificial intelligence, data auditing and visualisation techniques in our testing.

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Data-led solutions - power of technology

At PwC we are combining our industry and technical expertise with powerful technology to reshape the way we deliver our audits.

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A tech-powered audit: our Digital Quest

Digital Quest is our intuitive, web based app designed to enhance the use of technology, encourage upskilling and help tell our digital story.

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Case study

Using innovative imaging and AI to audit hard to reach farms

As part of PwC’s audit of Westfalia Fruit we developed an innovative use of satellite imagery, radar and AI to audit their fruit farms across two continents.

The Westfalia Fruit Group operates the largest avocado-growing footprint in the world, with farms located in South Africa, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Portugal, the US and India. The company's crop constitutes a considerable asset, therefore determining its correct scale was critical.

A number of Westfalia's farms are in particularly remote locations, making it difficult for the audit team to undertake site visits to determine the correct percentage of the planted areas. These hard to reach locations encouraged us to devise an innovative approach.

We brought together expertise from across the firm to advise on the options available to our auditors. Drawing on the digital imaging and analysis experience within our drones team, the innovative method we devised involved commissioning satellite images of a sample of Westfalia's farms, and then employing an Al analysis tool to determine the percentage of the area that had been planted. We then tested the results produced by the Al programme against a manual assessment of the same images, concluding that the Al analysis provided accurate data.

We commissioned satellite imagery of 30 Westfalia sites across three countries (Colombia, Mozambique and Chile) and used the Al powered analysis to determine the planted areas. Persistent cloud cover over a number of the farms made it even more challenging to make an accurate assessment. Returning to our digital imaging and analysis experts, we identified that Synthetic Aperture Radar data could also be collected via satellite, through the clouds, and provided us with the evidence we needed. Using these two methods we were able to assess Westfalia's farms total planted areas.

The deep expertise and collaboration across PwC allowed our team to employ satellite data within an audit in a way that has never been used before. Given the importance of their crop to the financial health of Westfalia's business, our ability to assess their total planted area was crucial to the robustness of our audit.

By designing an innovative, technology powered process to collect and evaluate an unprecedented level of audit evidence, we were able to make that assessment with great efficiency and confidence.

“Thanks to PwC's approach it gave us comfort that reported planted areas are accurate which is an important factor in our procurement strategy.”

Rian Du ToitGroup Chief Financial Officer at Westfalia Fruit
Digital Innovation of the Year 2023

Award winning

PwC has won the ‘Digital Innovation of the Year’ award. Our award submission focused on our industry leading capabilities like predictive analytics and AI-assisted financial statement disclosure checking, as well as capabilities exploring the potential of generative AI.

We are transforming the way we deliver audits globally through our ongoing commitment to people and technology. More information can be found on our Next Generation Audit page.

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Hemione  Hudson

Hemione Hudson

Head of Audit, PwC United Kingdom

Sotiris Kroustis

Sotiris Kroustis

Partner, UK Head of Public Policy, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7841 490928

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