CaseWare Africa launches CaseWare IDEA

CaseWare Africa, a division of Adapt IT, has released details of its latest product addition, CaseWare IDEA® Data Analysis – a comprehensive powerful data analytics tool that guarantees data integrity, accelerates the performance of data analytics, and enables faster, more effective external audits.

“Auditing teams spend a significant amount of time selecting samples and analysing client’s data for audit engagements”, says Christiaan Steyn, Assurance Product Manager, CaseWare Africa. “It is now more important than ever for auditors to look at all of the data in the audit, rather than just a sample. This is because of the explosion of the amount of data available to auditors, together with the fact that risk-based auditing is now the expected standard for external audits, as well as the focus on the analysis and management of risk that’s applied within the risk-based auditing approach.”

Steyn says that although auditors cannot be expected to identify 100 percent of fraud in all cases, they have an obligation to find material misstatements that would change the audit opinion. “It does not matter whether it is due to an error or fraud – if it is a material misstatement, auditors need to identify it. With IDEA®, auditing teams can increase their data coverage, by investigating a large number of items and potentially covering 100% of the transactions” explains Steyn.

“IDEA® enables teams to save an enormous amount of time using built-in risk-based sample models that allow for systematic, random and monetary unit techniques, and prioritise areas of elevated risk” notes Steyn. “Not only can teams easily sample within minutes but can also take advantage of over 100 audit functions for a robust analysis, including ageing, duplication detection and Benford’s Law.”

IDEA® allows audit teams to import information seamlessly and easily from almost any data source, in almost any format. “Once data is imported, IDEA® protects source data integrity by only providing teams with read-only access” adds Steyn. “With a built-in workflow, teams are empowered with a full suite of analytical tests for financial audits, that drive additional efficiency and again saves a great deal of time” Steyn further explains that IDEA® allows auditors to display data in different ways, and to generate analyses that would otherwise not be available. “IDEA® can also be helpful in identifying unusual or strange items, testing the validity of items by cross-checking them against other information, or validating calculations.”

Additional features include the ability to visually pinpoint patterns, trends and outliers based on the outcomes of tests to focus audit efforts. “IDEA® provides a built-in audit trail that easily enables repeatable analysis which can be used as audit evidence”. Steyn notes that IDEA® also provides users with the ability to implement bespoke advanced analytics in the analysis process with Python scripting support.

Steyn confirms that while new auditing tools and emerging technologies hold the key to evolving the audit, strategic risks around their adoption remain, and must be acknowledged, to ensure the industry continues to develop systems that generate value for firms and their clients. The quality of data, auditor’s knowledge of databases, and experience will contribute to the success of the processes that IDEA® enables.
“Not only will the amount of the Internet of Things and real-time generated data dramatically expand, but so will the amount of data that will be created and managed by enterprises,” says Steyn. “It is estimated that by 2025, nearly 60% of the 175 zettabytes (~175 billion Terabytes) of existing data will be created and managed by enterprises versus consumers.”

Steyn encourages auditors to empower their teams with analytical tools like IDEA®. “Given the volume of transactions, quantity of data and the rate at which both are growing, it is imperative for auditors to embrace analytical tools”. He notes that in his experience, the best way for firms to build adoption is by starting small.  “Identify a few audit engagements and commit the partner and the team to start and, especially, to complete the audit enabled by IDEA®”.  By building up a collection of successful audit engagements powered by analytics in IDEA®, teams build expertise, confidence, and skill. “The audit of the future will undoubtedly not be possible without data-driven analytical tools”. Audit firms that drive adoption first, will be best-placed to meet the needs of the rapidly changing audit landscape,” Steyn concludes.

How Connected Data Benefits Financial Accountants

Connected data in accounting software vastly benefits modern accounting teams. But what is connected data, anyway? It is simpler than it sounds, and we use it every day.

CloudData

Connected data in software applications allows users to reuse data across other different software applications, which is extremely beneficial for accountants who perform a wide variety of functions.

Accountants who use CaseWare’s suite of products, for example, can reuse single-sourced data in many of CaseWare’s other products.

Connected data allows all enterprise data to be connected to and accessible from a centralized source. This can be a software suite of two or more applications where data can be easily exchanged between platforms, a well-known example of which is Microsoft Office 365. Often, programs in the suite feature a similar graphical interface and common navigation conventions, allowing users to easily use new software in the suite.

Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, well-known software applications in the Microsoft Office 365 suite of products, share a very common user interface, and data can be easily exchanged between platforms. This improves the user experience as individual users are able to do more with the software they purchased.

Enterprises with connected data often use a large number of software applications, and they have many different suites targeted to different professions and purposes. Some well-known examples of these software suites include:

  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • G Suite
  • LibreOffice

The Benefits of Connected Data

Connected Data is also important for the software company itself producing the software, and connected data is pertinent to the success of a software company for the following reasons:

Greater Opportunities for Innovation
Connectivity in software suites enables software companies to make great innovations. With complementation from other previously existing software, new software can be easily created to perform new kinds of functions. As a result, a new software in a suite, especially software for a specific industry, can easily be created.

If new software is being built, the process can be made faster if UI and programming elements can be reused rather than made from scratch.

A Better Experience for Users
A product suite that allows data to be transferred saves the time-consuming process of having to re-import data manually when using completely different software products. Instead, data can be single-sourced to allow for a seamless transition between software. For example, CaseWare imported data from Working Papers can be reused throughout CaseWare’s suite of products. For example, CaseWare data imported from Working Papers can be reused throughout CaseWare’s suite of products.

Artificial Intelligence
An important topic when discussing the impact of connected data is a software company’s ability to provide AI services. Artificial Intelligence is gaining prominence in the software industry because of the competitive advantage it provides within the industry. AI software can pull data from a variety of individual software and use that data to perform highly advanced functions that would be difficult for standard software perform.

There’s no doubt that artificial intelligence is changing the software industry.CaseWare AnalyticsAI, for example, makes it easier to perform analysis in any engagement by incorporating automated testing into established workflows.

These days, you can’t have a conversation on connected data without discussing cloud-based data.

CaseWare Africa launches Cloud – Individual Tax

CaseWare Africa, a division of Adapt IT, has released details of its latest innovation, Individual Tax. This additional app on the CloudTax platform facilitates the preparation, calculation, and submission of individual tax returns (ITR12).

Individual Tax
Individual Tax

“It is estimated that the majority of tax practitioners spend between 75% to 90% of their time gathering information and documents in preparation of tax returns”, says Michael Mncube, Tax Product Manager, CaseWare Africa .“This together with ensuring that accurate, high-quality tax returns are submitted to SARS on time, often leaves very little room to optimise the efficiency of the methodology and improve the process that the practice follows.”

Mncube says gathering tax data using hard copies, client collaboration via countless emails and phone calls, is both tedious and daunting. “This entire process results in long and delayed response times. The use of Excel spreadsheets to calculate and corroborate numbers, a multitude of disconnected datasets used by tax teams, plus the resulting errors, are all compounded when needing to submit each tax return, per taxpayer individually as well – leading to an inefficient and time consuming process,” he says.

“Individual Tax offers unsurpassed efficiencies as the collection of tax data for specific tax years is achieved via digital queries that then automatically store the information in the relevant sections of the return – saving significant time and effort” notes Mncube. Individual Tax offers a centralised data storage in a single format, a comprehensive tax calculation framework aligned to SARS, powerful overviews of tax-related balances and the ability to prepare both IRP6 and ITR12 returns in a single solution. “This new addition to our CloudTax suite offers a multitude of benefits including the presentation of a clear view of provisional and income tax returns, together with related values grouped per tax year – all a single view allowing reconciliations of submissions and assessments.”
Additional features include built-in schedules that facilitate the summary of tax data inputs and auto-calculation of totals, thus, eliminating human error. “It also caters for bulk submission of tax returns to SARS, saving additional time and further enhancing efficiency. Seamless annual updates empower practitioners with peace of mind by ensuring that the latest changes in tax legislation and compliance are incorporated,” says Mncube.

CloudTax integrates directly with SARS efiling, which automatically synchronises all taxpayer details and historical correspondence in bulk, into a one-stop centralised location for fast and easy access. Built-in dashboards ensure that deadlines are never missed and that efforts can be directed to the most urgent action items. “By managing all client contact information in one place, practitioners can collaborate directly with taxpayers from within the platform.

“Powered by CaseWare Cloud, CloudTax is always available from any location, on any device, at any time and is included when customers buy Individual Tax,” Mncube concludes.

CaseWare Africa launches ISRS Agreed-Upon engagements

CaseWare Africa, a division of Adapt IT, has released details of its latest addition to the assurance product suite, ISRS Agreed-Upon.  This additional app on the CaseWare Cloud platform facilitates accepting, performing and reporting on findings of ISRS 4400 (Revised) Agreed-Upon procedure engagements.

“It is estimated that audit teams spend a significant portion of their time reconciling reporting of the performed procedures and the gathered findings”, says Christiaan Steyn, Assurance Product Manager, CaseWare Africa. “This together with facilitating and documenting inquiries from management, as well as obtaining accurate, high-quality feedback on questions to management, often leaves very little room to optimally focus the team’s time on performing the agreed procedures and improving the efficiency of the engagement”.

Steyn says that reconciling procedures from accepting, agreeing terms of engagement, performing and finally reporting, as well as client collaboration via countless emails and phone calls, is both tedious and daunting – leaving too much room for potential errors in the repetitive manual transfer of information between documents. “This entire process results in long and delayed engagement turnaround times and repetition in the workflow. By using Excel spreadsheets and emails to document procedures and communication with management, many engagement teams end up with a multitude of disconnected datasets. Additional potential errors are then also introduced and compounded when teams are working under pressure to complete and submit the ISRS Agreed-Upon findings report,” he says.

“ISRS Agreed-Upon provides audit teams with a streamlined workflow that guides users through the entire engagement process – including all applicable documentation like agreeing the terms, documenting the procedures and completing the agreed-upon procedures report”, notes Steyn. “The app offers numerous built-in efficiencies, as the documentation of agreed procedures are completed only once-off, and are automated further throughout the engagement by incorporating the collection of client inquiries via digital queries, that then automatically store the information in the relevant procedures – saving significant time and effort”.

ISRS Agreed-Upon offers a centralised data storage in a single format on CaseWare Cloud with integrated reporting on engagement progress. “This new addition to our Assurance Cloud suite offers a multitude of benefits including the presentation of a clear view of engagement status, client inquiry status and outstanding deliverables” Steyn adds. Built-in dashboards ensure that deadlines are never missed and that efforts can be directed to the most urgent action items. “By managing all client contact information in one place, teams can collaborate directly with clients from within ISRS Agreed-Upon.”
“Powered by CaseWare Cloud, ISRS Agreed-Upon is always available from any location, on any device, at any time” Steyn concludes.

CaseWare solutions allow us to be competitive and help us build our customer portfolio

It has been a hard and tiring journey for us trying to get a solution to our time consuming and exhausting preparation of the annual report and financial statements which not only has strict time lines but requires quality output.

This journey came to an end about two years ago when we met Caseware Africa. Caseware Africa’s software has made our preparation on quality financial statements fun and timely.

 

 

 

With the use of Caseware, we are now able to complete the preparation of the financial statements and review them in less than a month, giving management and the board humble time to review and approve the statements. Previously we had to call for an ADHOC board to approve the statements given that they would be ready the last day of the statutory timeline.

Thank you Caseware Africa. – NHIF (National Hospital Insurance Fund)