You are here

The digital (r)evolution is reinventing the world of financial audits

Lorsque le numérique réinvente les métiers de l’audit financier
Published on
18 February 2020

The 2020 Geopolitics Festival at Grenoble Ecole de Management will highlight the impact of emerging IT and communications technology. The Mazars group shares its unique digital and innovation strategy to reinvent financial auditing.

Mazars now plays in the field of the Big Four. Over the past three years, the French group has grown from 19,000 to 25,000 employees to reinforce its presence in Europe, China and the USA. The group has implemented a culture of technology sharing in order to industrialize new job processes in more than 90 countries. We speak with Claire Cizaire, director of innovation and technology at the Mazars group.

Over the past three years, Mazars created a network of Labs in France and abroad. These physical locations are dedicated to innovation and new technologies. What is the recipe for this success?

Looking back on our experience, there were several key factors that enabled us to scale up: creativity, long term discipline and an global perspective right from the start of the project. We also had to show determination and courage in order to enact change in a professional environment that is particularly competitive and regulated at all levels of the business.

You were recruited three years ago for this new job. What is your mission?

Digital evolutions and innovations are priorities at Mazars. We’ve focused on the creation of new technologies and strategic evolutions for our various job sectors. My job was created three years ago to align with the executive committee’s desire to be active in terms of internal and external transformations. Our jobs and tasks are highly regulated, as a result, changes must be launched by top management if they’re to succeed. The primary guiding vision is to automate, analyze and valorize the digital data we have acquired through transversal tools.

Mazars has two challenges in this field: to facilitate the work of its consultants and team members, and to modernize our processes in order to increase agility for our clients. To sum up, we asked ourselves how technology could reinvent our intellectual services.

What are the concrete applications of this strategy?

We launched a portfolio of projects. First, projects with modest ambitions will enable us to ramp up our efforts and control the innovation cycle. The idea is to implement very short-term cycles that can be repeated and quickly increase our skills. For example, we worked on Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The goal is for internal users to gain the most from these efforts through training and support services. Then we created a Center for excellence on RPA which enables Mazars consultants to support our clients in terms of training and development. Over the course of 18 months, we went from nothing to the creation of a new consultant expertise for our clients.

Today, we are trying to implement externally what we already do internally. Over the course of three years, we created a network of innovation ambassadors. This informal network started listening to tech trends in the field with the goal of then sharing these trends up the ladder. The objective is to define and implement a strategy through various projects that run from local to national levels.

What characterizes this network of innovation ambassadors? 

The network is without hierarchy. Everyone from junior to senior levels can be involved and information is transmitted quickly from one level to another.  We were surprised to see the diversity and quality of information that has been transmitted. Innovation is generated through technology, but even more so by a culture of innovation that is carried by each person. The network started with 10 participants and now includes 150 members.

We also created a toolbox to help mobilize and connect the network. We noticed that after 18 months “hubs” were being created around certain people while others were free to leave the network as they wished.

What are the current results of the network?

The network took on its current form thanks to our event United Innovators which gathered the community and enabled participants to meet in real life. All members are interconnected and lead or coordinate various teams dedicated to digital changes. The goal is to be able to test new technology and apply the process to partners in order to benefit from feedback. Once the process is validated, industrial teams scale up the process for the whole group. That’s the real key, scaling up.

To do so, Mazars launched group-wide training campaigns via a digital platform in order to share information about blockchain, RPA, data analysis, design thinking… The content is defined both internally and externally with clients through mini, digital conference cycles that can be shared on the internet and LinkedIn. These conferences are also streamed live across France. To achieve all of this, we worked with the departments of HR, training, internal communications and IT services. The process is the same: we start small, repeat and then grow the content and training subjects. First we covered general topics and now we’re covering more technical ones. The trend is also heading towards employees being sources of suggestions for content and subjects.

QUESTIONING THE DIGITAL (R)EVOLUTION

From March 25-28, the 2020 Geopolitics Festival in Grenoble will focus on the topic of the digital (r)evolution with numerous debates, workshops, exhibitions and conferences. The event will explore the societal impact of these digital changes in light of ICTs 40 year history. The festival will highlight current trends and key issues at the heart of this digital change within our society.
The Geopolitics Festival will take place in five locations: Grenoble Ecole de Management, La Cité Scolaire Internationale, Le Café des Arts, La Maison de l'international, La librairie Decitre and Sciences Po Grenoble.

Organized by Grenoble Ecole de Management, the event is free with required registration

On the same subject

  • Le dilemme de la consommation énergétique des solutions digitales
    Published on 16 March 2020

    The dilemma of digitalization versus energy consumption

    The growth of digital technology has created a real revolution in services and opportunities for business. Yet this opportunity also has a cost in terms of energy… How can we balance energy consumption and digitalization?

  • Service Freemium : lorsque la qualité fait la différence
    Published on 20 January 2020

    Freemium offers: quality the key to converting free users?

    Free digital services have become so commonplace that converting users to premium offers has become a major challenge for many digital companies. New research highlights quality as a key factor in successfully implementing a freemium strategy.

  • Charles-Clemens Rüling, Directeur de la Recherche à GEM, parle du défi de la confiance collective dans le secteur de la santé.
    Published on 08 October 2019

    Video: The role of trust in the new mHealth and eHealth segments

    Charles-Clemens Rüling, Associate Dean for Research at Grenoble Ecole de Management, works with a team of experts on role of trust in the mHealth and eHealth segments.

  • Des catalogues digitaux enrichis… Pour quoi faire ?
    Published on 16 September 2019

    Digitally enhanced catalogs… A winning promise?

    3D images, videos, detailed product files… Digitally enhanced catalogs offer a new, trendy marketing tool. Yet research confirms that such enhancements aren’t necessarily a worthy investment.

  • Comment gagner en valeur en co-créant avec ses clients ?
    Published on 15 April 2019

    How to increase value by co-creating with customers?

    Co-creating new services and products with customers enables companies to better match customer expectations and increase the success of their offers. With the advent of digital technology, the co-creation process has become all the more accessible...

  • Published on 22 November 2018

    Towards post-human society? (CSO Open Seminar 2019)

    The Centre for Social Ontology is organising a round-table and open discussion on whether, and in what respects, contemporary societies are becoming post-human. The expression post-human is used in broad terms to refer to technological and social...

  • Chirag Patel et Christophe Haon
    Published on 18 May 2018

    Research: Retail Website Performance, to Outsource or not to Outsource?

    To improve sales, retail websites focus on personalizing their web pages and increasing their influence on social networks. To achieve these goals, should they rely on internal resources or call on external service providers? A study of 105 U.S....

  • La marque digitale est porteuse d’une réputation
    Published on 20 October 2017

    How to Create a Digital Brand?

    The digital revolution is here. Brands must grow to be more than just a name, a logo and a style guide. Is your brand ready to go digital?

  • Published on 17 June 2017

    Nanovalor: a Platform to Evaluate the Value of New Tech

    Emerging technology can impact society and the economy in a variety of ways. Nanovalor creates a platform to analyze and learn about the value of new tech.

  • Geopolitics: Dealing With a Growing Crisis in Venezuela
    Published on 16 June 2017

    Geopolitics: Dealing With a Growing Crisis in Venezuela

    Companies have to consider economics and geopolitics to successfully navigate the Venezuelan crisis.

  • Renaud Cornu-Emieux, responsable de la Chaire Talents de la transformation digitale, et enseignant-chercheur à GEM
    Published on 10 May 2017

    Digital Advantages for Human Resources

    How do HR departments participate in the digital transformation? What advantages do digital tools offer for HR?

  • BAROMÈTRE DU MARCHÉ DE L’ENERGIE
    Published on 13 March 2017

    Energy Market Barometer Report: Winter 2016

    This Winter 2016 edition of the Grenoble Ecole de Management Energy Market Barometer explores the opinion of French energy experts about the decentralization of the electricity sector in France. French experts were also asked where the focus of...

  • research on Contextual Television Advertising
    Published on 28 February 2017

    Research: Questioning the Effectiveness of Contextual Television Advertising

    As businesses and marketing go digital, companies have to track the effectiveness of their advertising across many channels. The growth of online transactions has made website conversions an essential factor for many businesses. Thanks to detailed...

  • Research: Digital Transformation of the Electricity Sector in France and Germany
    Published on 18 October 2016

    Digital Transformation: the Electricity Sector in France and Germany

    Remote meters, mobile apps to control energy consumption, smart grids… It’s time for the energy sector to embrace the digital transformation.

  • Published on 19 August 2016

    NeOse™: Creating an Electronic Description of WHAT YOU SMELL?

    Nearly 10% of the world population is believed to suffer from olfactory disorders. Whether it is the inability to detect odors or an altered sense of smell, olfactory disorders can lead to depression and desocialization. In response, Aryballe...

  • Federico Pigni, Professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 01 July 2016

    Research: Creating Value from Digital Data Streams

    The big data era is upon us. Startups, major companies, organizations and governments are all rushing to extract essential insights from big data. Yet in doing so, many have overlooked the potential value of the digital data streams (DDS) that make...

  • Published on 30 June 2016

    Joining the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

    Grenoble Ecole de Management becomes the first Business School in the world, and the first higher education institution in France to join the prestigious International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency based in...

  • websites such as TripAdvisor have given consumers the power to impact a company's image.
    Published on 22 March 2016

    TripAdvisor: How Companies React to Negative Ratings

    The world wide web has revolutionized the hotel, restaurant and other travel-related industries. From online bookings to customer ratings, companies have to learn how to operate in this new environment. While an organization's market identity used...

  • Research: Creating Visitor Engagement Through Music
    Published on 29 February 2016

    Research: Creating Visitor Engagement Through Music

    Digital communications have created an information overload for customers. To stand out on the world wide web, companies have to offer clients a high-impact experience. When used properly, music provides a simple yet effective means of creating a...

  • Vincent Mangematin, Associate Dean for Corporate Relations and Research at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 17 March 2015

    Orchestrating Innovation with User Communities in the Creative Industries

    In search of continuous innovation, the digital creative industries have expanded their interactions with user communities to develop their products. This study highlights the evolution of these company-user relationships that allow for fluid...

  • Published on 07 November 2014

    Research : Digitization, Changing How We Work and Coordinate Projects

    All of us use digital tools and objects that can now be shared and combined in a variety of ways. This change has profoundly influenced the organization of work with projects being divided according to specialization and geographical location.