Does your SMSF auditor have the capacity to take on more audits? We look at why scale matters when it comes to meeting SMSF audit independence requirements.
As accounting firms race to meet the 1 July deadline for SMSF audit independence, many will be seeking to form new relationships with SMSF auditors. Scale is a key issue to consider in the selection process.
Daria Galstyan CA, Associate Director – Audit, of leading SMSF audit specialist firm Evolv, explains, “Scale isn’t just about having the headcount to handle a large volume of SMSF audits. It also comes down to making smart use of technology. This can be critical in streamlining the process of sending SMSF files to the auditor, and for the auditor to achieve rapid turnaround times.”
The benefits of bespoke SMSF audit software
Technology is an area where Evolv is setting new benchmarks, using SMSF audit software that has been developed in-house.
Galstyan says, “Our software has been built by auditors, for auditors. And there is no doubt that when you both design a program – and use it on a daily basis, the end product is far more functional.”
She adds, “In a sense, Evolv’s audit team act as quality assurance. When we see areas where the software can be improved, those suggestions are discussed directly with our IT team, and the enhancements can be made quicky.
“It makes Evolv’s SMSF audit software far more ‘useable’ and relevant than an off the shelf product,” adds Galstyan. “We don’t have to rely on other companies or third parties to provide updates and enhancements, and this gives Evolv’s accounting firm clients a clear advantage of scale.”
The same high quality service Australia-wide
A further upside of Evolv’s bespoke technology is the ability to service accounting firms right across Australia.
“Geography is definitely an area where our in-house software comes into play,” says Galstyan. “We don’t need face to face appointments with clients to support the audit process – and this is proving especially important during COVID.
“Our accounting firm clients simply upload their SMSF files to our secure systems, our auditors download them, and from there we can get to work on the audit straight away. By harnessing technology this way, Evolv is able to provide the same high quality product to an accounting firm regardless of whether they are located in Alice Springs or Sydney.”
Multiple partners, vast experience
Technology isn’t the only driver of scale. Another factor to address is the skill and experience of an audit team.
As Galstyan observes, Evolv is a specialist SMSF audit firm. In fact, Evolv completes thousands of SMSF audits annually, backed by a skilled professional team overseen by multiple partners. She says this provides further benefits of scale.
“The number of SMSF audits we complete annually means our team has tremendous depth of experience. There are few situations or complex issues that we haven’t previously encountered, and this gives Evolv tremendous collective knowledge, which is further supported by the experience of multiple partners.”
According to Galstyan, common areas of uncertainty among accounting firms include arm’s length transactions and valuation of off-market assets. She notes, “As a specialist SMSF audit firm, we are able to draw on our expertise and act as a sounding board, engaging in real-time conversations with our accounting and advisory firm clients – even before the SMSF accounts are submitted to us. This relationship is critical, giving our clients reassurance that they can access the full resources of Evolv as their trusted audit partner.”
With the new SMSF audit independence requirements rapidly approaching, Galstyan observes that a lot of new audit firms are coming to market. However, she believes it makes good business sense to look for a firm with scale, experience and history.
“Evolv has focused solely on SMSF audits since 2006. We combine this impressive track record with a generous headcount of professional staff plus our bespoke technology. The upshot for our accounting firm clients is the benefits of scale, which translate to timely, accurate, and efficient audits for their own SMSF clients.”
To discover how Evolv can help your practice meet SMSF audit requirements contact David Goldsmith at Evolv on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 886 536.