A specialist SMSF auditor has moved to dispel a misunderstanding about the validity of data feeds and how much confidence a practitioner can have in using them as a reliable source of information for the yearly fund audit process.
Evolv founder and chief executive Ron Phipps-Ellis said the reliability of a data feed is determined by the quality of the service in question.
To this end, Phipps-Ellis argues that a direct-connect feed processed by way of an encrypted link satisfies the quality standard to which he is referring. With Evolv’s service platform, this type of structure establishes a direct channel of data sharing between the SMSF software and the audit software in use, eliminating the need for any manual intervention.
“The automated data feed provides access to transaction data immediately, in a form where the data is able to be easily interrogated within the audit evidence-gathering process,” he said.
“This automates a key component of the audit process, flagging potential data integrity and SIS (Superannuation Industry (Supervision)) Act or Regulation compliance concerns. This approach enables the auditor to better manage detection risk within the audit process, while leveraging the human capital investment to focus on critical audit risk areas.”
He pointed out the approach will provide other advantageous outcomes, including helping to manage an issue many practices are currently facing.
“With the shortage of accountants and auditors within the profession, such an approach provides for roles within the profession, where data integrity is at centre and critical analysis is the immediate focus of entry-level graduate roles,” he said.
According to Phipps-Ellis, such uses of automation provide significant benefits to SMSF auditors and their practices.
“This includes the development and retention of a highly skilled workforce, supporting regulatory integrity. This bodes well for the future of the audit profession,” he said.