Data – the lifeblood of our digital world. Suddenly, we all seem to be looking for data feeds – we are analysing data, data mining… but do you ever stop and ask yourself: “Where did this data come from? Can I trust it?“
As auditors, we are meant to skeptical by nature, but while discussing SMSF Audit with prospective subscribers over the past 18 months or so, I’ve been surprised to see how trusting some auditors are!
To assist our CaseWare SMSF Audit subscribers, we have direct integration available to some of the leading SMSF administration providers. This means we can automate much of the audit file setup phase and perform ‘in-bulk’ processes for auditors, like importing and mapping Trial Balance information, which significantly reduces the time lost to these necessary administrative steps.
Data integrity is key
But once the data is in the file, it is up to the SMSF auditor and their professional judgement to determine the audit approach and level of testing required to get comfort over these imported numbers. Remember, just because it came directly from the administration platform, doesn’t mean the administrator of the fund hasn’t made a mistake before you imported it, either by accident or intentionally!
Then there is the question of what other data can the auditor get to assist with the audit – transaction listings? Industry benchmarks? Bank feeds? But are these any more reliable?
We have plenty of enhancements on our SMSF Audit development roadmap that relate to data, but we will always consider the source, the quality and the reliability of anything we link to or bring in to SMSF Audit. Our aim at CaseWare is to promote quality audit practices, while offering efficient features and functionality to aid you.
What are your thoughts about data? Do you have any concerns about the move to data-driven processes and reliance? If you have an effective process for ensuring data integrity that you are happy to share, feel free to drop me a line – I would love to interview you and share your approach with the CaseWare community!
Product Manager – SMSF Audit