PwC uses drone in audit for first time

PwC have used drone technology in its audit of RWE to measure stock (volume measurements) including coal reserves at a power plant in South Wales.

It is the first time the firm has used a drone in an audit but it plans to roll out their use when auditing other businesses as the results were “groundbreaking”.

“Sectors with large assets in hard to reach areas are the most obvious starting points for expanding this kind of work further - from mining to agriculture and forestry,” said Elaine Whyte, UK drones leader at PwC.

It found that the traditional method of manually traversing the coal pile can take around four hours, whereas using a drone it can be done in half an hour.

“While the traditional method remains reliable and will still be used for RWE’s formal year-end financial statements, the drone trial was conducted to explore ways of challenging the traditional method of stock counting. It was a classic example of new technology challenging the old - and based on our results, the potential is groundbreaking,” said Richard French, audit partner at PwC.

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