A few years back, CaseWare took the decision to adopt a cloud-first strategy. As a result, those clients who had already adopted our cloud-based solutions were able to avoid any loss of productivity when forced to begin working remotely during the COVID-19 crisis. Cloud offers immediate and secure access to applications and data from anywhere.
Given today’s ever-changing threat landscape, it’s important to emphasise that our clients’ data is protected by solid multi-factor authentication and rigorous security protocols that are continuously updated.
In alignment with this strategy, most of our latest applications have been developed for the cloud and are fully optimised for use on the CaseWare Cloud platform. For example, using our ISAE Attestation app, auditors can easily conduct assurance engagements for attorney and estate agent trust accounts. Similarly, CaseWare’s CloudTax and Corporate Tax applications allow tax practitioners and corporate finance teams to manage all provisional IRP6 and ITR14 annual tax returns, completely online with direct integration with SARS. With CloudSec, practitioners and company secretaries can manage CIPC compliant statutory secretarial tasks.
We are working hard on developing other cloud-first applications. Because of our cloud-based development tools and infrastructure, we were able to enable our workforce to work remotely when the COVID-19 outbreak made it necessary. Thanks to our cloud-first strategy, our development efforts have been unaffected by COVID-19.
However, our cloud-first strategy also encompasses our large base of desktop users. Existing users of CaseWare Working Papers who use our Assurance and Financial Reporting templates, can benefit from the cloud by combining these desktop offerings with CaseWare Cloud and SmartSync. This hybrid solution allows our desktop users to store a centralised copy of a CaseWare Working Papers file on CaseWare Cloud, and then use SmartSync to enable a distributed team to collaborate together. This means that everyone can work simultaneously on the same file, with a complete audit trail of all changes, whilst a redundant backup of the engagement is securely stored on the cloud for access at any time from any location.
It’s also important to emphasise the benefits of the cloud over trying to collaborate via corporate systems. The latter typically require connection via a VPN for security purposes, and corporate systems can battle to handle excessive multiple VPN connections at once, thus limiting the productivity of remote workers. Expanding the corporate VPN capability is expensive. By contrast, the cloud is designed for remote access from any location and, as already noted, is inclusive of the latest security measures and protocols that large cloud providers offer. Individual organisations would find delivering this level of security both challenging and expensive.
Recent events make it more apparent than ever that the take-up of cloud-based solutions will accelerate, and that organisations will transition much of their software onto cloud platforms in the coming months and years. We at CaseWare will continue to pursue our cloud app development initiatives, and look forward to introducing our clients to this new generation of benefits as they become available.
Christiaan Brink, Product Executive, CaseWare Africa, a division of Adapt IT.
Christiaan holds a degree in Computer Engineering and has extensive product development experience and a passion for technology. He spent 12 years based in the UK creating software solutions for the investment data industry across EMEA. Christiaan joined the Adapt IT group in 2019 where he currently leads the product group for the CaseWare Africa division.