Auditflow News – February 2015

Auditflow News – February 2015

New websites for Auditflow Group and Auditflow

Check out our new websites www.auditflowgroup.com and www.auditflow.com. We have created the new Auditflow Group web site for our clients to navigate to our other products, ie. MyWorkpapers. The new website is more intuitive to navigate and has more content including more videos. Please feel free to give feedback directly to me.

Product updates coming next week

We are continuously improving the Auditflow product with a roadmap driven by clients. If you want to participate in our Client Advisory Board, please contact me. New features will be released soon. Look out for the email from our Products Team.

Training

We are currently updating our online training platform. In the meantime training videos can be viewed now through our online help centre http://helpcentre.auditflow.com/help and also direct on the Auditflow YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/auditflow

Training packages – including one on one web meetings and in-house implementation days are offered to all clients. Contact sales for more information sales@auditflow.com. We want to get you up and running!

Upcoming webinars

Click here to view the webinars being held in the next six weeks.

SMSF Association – feedback from the annual conference last week

I attended the conference last week, and met with clients, prospective clients and SMSF Association delegates. There were several topics of discussion:

  • Audit productivity improvement
    • Integration and data sharing
    • Automation of the audit process
  • Compliance improvement – increased exception based auditing
  • Security of information – database and file security, and ‘penetration testing’
  • Document sharing between the Administrator and the Auditor

In brief, see my thoughts below.
 
Integration and data sharing

Whilst products like Xero have impacted on the accounting profession, it has only been Auditflow to offer similar technology and innovation to improve productivity in audit.
 
Through cloud products such as Class Super, BGL 360, SuperMate (soon to be released), Auditflow provides an increased ability for fund administrators and auditors to share data and collaborate on fund audits. Whilst the integration between administrators and auditors is still in its infancy, the rapid development cycle of cloud technology is quickly shaping the future of the SMSF audit. Auditflow already allows auditors to instantaneously import client lists, trustee and member details, trial balances and investment details from administration packages. 
 
Howard Dickson from the ATO (Day 2 of the SMSF Association included the topic ‘The Auditor’s Role – Now and the Future’) encouraged auditors to use products, that embraced technology, to be more efficient.
 
This integration and data sharing will continue to evolve into deeper forms, allowing auditors to automate many of the traditional audit tests to deliver higher quality and more efficient audits to their clients. We anticipate in the near future, SMSF auditors will have instantaneous access and ability to view data such as drill down ability into investment transactions, instantaneous source verification for investments, in application document exchange with administrators and more.
 
These improvements in integration and data sharing will lead directly to less “tick and flick” testing being completed by auditors, improved efficiencies in audit processes and a direct improvement in audit quality due to the level of information available at the auditors’ fingertips.
 

Automation and exception basis auditing

As a direct by-product of instantaneous access to detailed data and deeper levels of integration with administration packages, automation of routine administration tasks and audit testing will also increase – leading again to more efficient, higher quality engagements.
 
Administration tasks such as notifying the auditor that a fund is ready for audit, creation of audit files, sending engagement letters, issuing audit reports, lodging contravention reports will become fully automated with a press of a button. Through reduction of routine administration, audit practices will be able to spend more time understanding the risks of the audit and performing tests, along with increasing the overall efficiency of the audit.
 
Whilst automation and exception basis testing will become the ‘bread and butter’ of many standard funds, the audit process will never be able to become fully automated. Nothing will be able to replace an auditors’ professional judgement or ‘gut feel’; nor will more qualitative issues such as sole purpose tests, related party transactions or borrowings.

Security of information

I was asked by prospective clients at the SMSF conference about our hosting environment and its security. I smiled as it has been an area of passion for me, not only to have a product that auditors will use but that is secure and fail safe backups.
 
Here is what we do; and we believe it is industry best practice. We have our servers in Rackspace Sydney with instantaneous file and data replication (better than backup), both onsite and offsite (with Amazon). We have server monitoring and our application(s), hosting providers are ‘security and penetration tested’. We also have a lot more that what has been mentioned!
 
Any cloud service provider should be providing you with surety that they have (at worst) 15 minute replication of data on three sources (one offsite). Also, ask them for a Security Verification letter (ours available on request) that shows they have had their hosting infrastructure security and penetration tested.
 
Check what your cloud providers do (and for that matter don’t do).

Document sharing between the administrator, accountant and auditor

I get this question every day! Day 2 of the SMSF Association included the topic ‘The Auditor’s Role – Now and the Future’. Howard Dickson from the ATO made a number of key points including – the auditor should have their own independent record of supporting documentation. Thus a practice that has several partners, and a separate audit division, should also have a separate copy of supporting documents for the audit and not just one practice document management system. This is easily done with Audiflow by ‘dragging and dropping’ into the audit file.   
 
Though we are adding features for document management connections, we recommend all audit files have their own supporting documentation (and the ATO agrees!)
 

Richard Neal
rich.neal@auditflow.com


 

Auditflow Pty Ltd
www.auditflow.com
Tel: +61 7 5555 0100
Fax: +61 7 5555 0199
Suite 30610, Level 6
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9 Lawson Street
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Australia
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United Kingdom
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