An innovative web-based audit software application, just released, is designed to substantially improve the quality of auditing in Australia by utilising real-time compliance, irrespective of when changes occur to relevant legislation.
Auditflow is designed to help auditors satisfactorily adhere to the increasingly large volumes of compliance laws.
The difficulty they face was highlighted recently by professional accounting bodies who say an overwhelming majority of auditors last year failed to comply with all mandatory legislative and regulatory requirements.
They also said the figures had not improved since the year before.
Among the reasons for non-compliance was the enormous volume of legislative and regulatory requirements by which auditors must abide, they said.
A former National President of CPA Australia, and former Board Member of the Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board, Patrick Ponting, supported this view.
He said: “Auditing standards impose such detailed requirements on the auditor that it is almost impossible to be confident that every requirement has been met.”
At a time when community concern is rising about company collapses, auditors face the potential of possible litigation, damage to their reputations and in most instances, a costly follow up review from their professional accounting body.
Richard Neal, CEO of Auditflow said the software results from a long internal process of studying compliance material and putting it into a web-based format that provides auditors with a most cost-effective solution.
“We dedicated a team to create a holistic solution to improving the standard of auditing within Australia,” he said.
“To help us, we appointed an advisory board that includes a former Queensland ASIC Regional Commissioner and former CPA Australia State President, and a former National President of CPA Australia and former board member of the National Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board.”
Barrie Adams, a former Commissioner of ASIC and former CPA Australia State President, gave the software his approval.
“There is no doubt that Auditflow SME will provide a substantial improvement in the quality of auditing and confidence in the audit process, and ensure both auditors and the business community as a whole avoid the costly non-compliance that they are currently occurring”, he said.
People in the field also like its concept.
“Auditflow SME is easier to navigate than the software we’re currently using” said Steve Russo, a partner at Adelaide based accounting firm Kennedy & Co Chartered Accountants.
More than 520,000 audits are carried out each year in Australia and Richard Neal forecasts Auditflow will eventually have applications for about 130 countries worldwide.
“These countries have adopted international auditing standards - a set of road rules, certain basic rules,” he said.
“Of course, there are country specific variances to these International Auditing Standards, but these are nominal, and Auditflow can be easily adapted to suit.”
“At the moment, however, we want to show the way for Australian auditors in a way which is easy to understand, that helps solve a problem, and demonstrates that the industry is capable of providing best practice in its own right.”
Mr Neal said auditors simply subscribed to the Auditflow application by logging on to the Auditflow website with a username and password.