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SMSF Awards 2017: Audit function provider winner

Evolv realised early on that if it wanted to be successful in the SMSF auditing space, it needed to build a scalable business.

“We pioneered building both an automated software platform and a resourcing model which has enabled the advanced growth of our business since 2012,” managing director Ron Phipps-Ellis says.

“Software enables automation of routine audit procedures which no longer need to be performed manually.”

Evolv is a clear winner in this category for the third year in a row, but this year took a different approach when it came to its competitors.
“In addition to performing a full-service super audit, uniquely we now encourage our competitors to become our colleagues whereby we assist them to profit from using our services,” Phipps-Ellis reveals.

Instead of competing, Evolv chose to collaborate and openly share its resourcing model (Evolv Grey) and software (Evolv White) with other like-minded auditors.

“We want to help them grow their business and adapt to a new age of super audits – together,” Phipps-Ellis says.

More services that can be used by other SMSF auditors are on the cards too.

Staff turnover at the company is minimal and Evolv attracts a team of auditors who would rather use their skills at a senior level than performing the routine tasks that their software has automated.

“Our continuous pursuit of innovation has enhanced the loyalty that we have with our team members,” Phipps-Ellis explains.

As consistent providers of audit services, the demands of Evolv clients – who are accountants, administrators and advisers – for a quality, value-for-money, efficient, large-scale audit are ongoing and little changed from year to year.

But like many in the industry, Evolv is not unaffected by disruption.

“Evolv is facing the challenge of a technological revolution, which we have been responding to by future-proofing firms with a new approach to digital audits and continuously improving our clients’ experience.” Phipps-Ellis notes.

The company now exceeds 10,000 audits.

Advisers appreciate anything that can save them time and the automation of routine audit procedures through Evolv’s software is a clear winner.

“Data-fed transactions now require significantly less financial statement verification procedures to be performed. As a result, we’ve developed a new audit framework whereby auditors need to perform less routine audit procedures and instead embrace a review process of exceptions and irregularities,” Phipps-Ellis says.

By integrating this new audit approach into our software, it results in time savings and reduces risk without compromising on quality.

A good reputation is crucial to maintaining adviser support and Phipps-Ellis stresses the company’s relationships with its clients is fundamental to everything it does.

“The biggest challenge in the SMSF audit industry is to create value to our customers in what is a very commoditised market,” he observes.

It’s this favourable reputation that has enabled the company to keep on winning this category and its clients’ trust, and its ability to perform audits quickly, efficiently and cost effectively.

And a continuous pursuit of innovation has only served to enhance the loyalty Evolv enjoys with clients.

Data analysis is part of Evolv’s ongoing pursuit of excellence and it is currently developing a few technology enhancements that will assist its clients in this area.

Phipps-Ellis sums up the firm’s ambition neatly when he says “we will continue to redefine the super audit industry”.

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