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Duplication an audit automation challenge

Delivering one source of information for multiple users was a continual challenge confronting organisations providing automated SMSF audit services, according to an auditing software firm.

“It’s been a challenge for us at Auditflow to find a solution to that problem whereby we can satisfy the needs of both the accountant or the administration area in an SMSF sense as well as the auditor,” Auditflow business development manager Greg Narain told the 2015 Accountants’ Technology Showcase Australia conference in Sydney last week.

Furthermore, finding a solution to the problem is made more difficult as users are also looking at satisfying their needs from a perspective that is broader than just the audit function.

“They’re also looking for solutions that are about accounting and not just audit,” Narain said.

“The experience of Auditflow is that firms see the audit file preparation [and think] yes, that’s great in isolation, but the accounting side of their business requires the complete compliance file, the accounting side of the business wants to retain ownership of their accounting file, the auditor wants a separate audit file that they retain ownership of, and neither wants duplication.

“They want to be able to share the same information, do it once, do it right, and have that flow through the process and through the practice.”

An additional challenge that continues to need addressing is client concerns over the data storage and security of cloud-based facilities.

In regard to this issue, Narain said practitioners were actually worrying about the wrong thing.

“Clients should be really more concerned about where that data is accessed from,” he said.

“For the firms that are outsourcing and having that data available offshore, it’s not really about where the data lives but more about who and where that data is being accessed by.”

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