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.

ISAE Attestation For Auditors

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ISAE Attestation is auditing software that allows auditors to gather appropriate evidence for the compliance reporting requirements of the Legal Practice Council and the Estate Agency Affairs Board. Powered by CaseWare Cloud, ISAE Attestation is always available from any location, on any device, at any time, and is licensed on a per-engagement basis, which means you can buy what you need when you need it and top up at any time.

ISAE Attestation Assisting Auditing Practitioners

ISAE Attestation assists practitioners in performing engagements based on ISAE 3000 assurance engagements, other than audits or reviews of historical, financial information. It contains a built-in methodology based on ISAE 3000 and specific compliance requirements of the Estate Agency Affairs Board and Legal Practice Council.
ISAE Attestation is designed to incorporate the four major elements of an attestation engagement into one seamless process:
  • Accepting
  • Planning
  • Performing
  • Reporting.

The ISAE Attestation Accepting Phase

This assists with understanding the company’s policies for attestation engagements as well as performing acceptance or continuance procedures. With advanced optimisations, ISAE Attestation, utilises checklists, questionnaires, queries, and work programmes that intelligently expand or collapse according to the engagement.

The Planning Phase

This enables practitioners to gain an understanding of the entity’s business, assess materiality, perform a risk assessment and plan the overall strategy for the engagement. By utilising queries, ISAE Attestation, allows practitioners to communicate and collaborate directly with clients within the app whilst providing transparent visibility to partners at all times.

The Performing Phase

This phase allows practitioners to perform procedures on the service activities relevant to the engagement. Prebuilt work programmes set forth the procedures necessary to complete an efficient and effective engagement. The procedures consist of a detailed plan of the work that must be performed, encourages a thorough understanding of the service activity, and includes the steps required to achieve the reasonable, assurance, engagement objectives. With engagement management built-in, the progress of every engagement and statuses of all engagements across the firm can easily be tracked and monitored.

The Reporting Phase

And finally, the Reporting phase assists in discussing significant judgments with management, preparing the reasonable assurance report, ensuring the report is appropriately worded, completing and locking down the engagement. With built-in roll forward technology, efficiency can be significantly increased, by leveraging extensive, built-in logic to roll forward selected information related to the client into next year’s engagement.
This product is empowering auditors with streamlined attorney trust and estate agent trust account assurance engagements. Find out more about ISAE Attestation here.

Audit International – Leading Paperless Auditing Solution

Completely integrated with accounting and a Caseware engagement file, Audit International is the leading, paperless audit solution, designed to produce shorter, faster, risk-focused audits. Built using the Caseware International audit platform and designed around the international standards on auditing.

Templates are available in the following profiles:

  • Minimal
  • Basic
  • One Form
  • One Form+
  • Core
  • And can be tailored for engagement

The dashboard screen, which is divided into planning and risk assessment, risk response and completion and reporting stages, makes navigation easy for inexperienced users and gives a simplified view of the status of the audit at any time. Using Caseware’s audit optimiser, the file is tailored very rapidly to focus only on the areas required and eliminating any unnecessary work.

What Else Can Our Paperless Audit Solution Do For You?

Checklists are answered using simple, dropdown menus with automated sign-off and the lightning buttons allow users to answer entire sections in one go. Risks, controls, and management letter points can be raised at any time on a simple to follow dialogue and associated to work programmes or other documents.

The financial statement areas, FSA worksheet records, allows you to plan your audit based on risks and provides a central point for recording your risk response. Any risks raised are automatically fed through to the associated work programme as is materiality and the planning information from the FSA documents.

Work programmes can be easily tailored to address and identify risks and the results fed back to the risk dialogue and risk report. Results are easily recorded in the comment boxes, which expand to accommodate text and you can refer to any piece of supporting evidence in the document manager. Any audit issues can be identified, assigned, and cleared and reported easily.

On-screen review, times are reduced and audit quality is improved by channelling critical information to the completion documents, automated management letters, and associated reports.

Empower Your Auditing Firm With Audit International

Our leading paperless auditing solution will help you empower your auditing firm, while exceeding expectations, reducing risk, complying with the latest regulations and improving profitability. Caseware Africa, an adapt IT company, a leader in assurance software solutions.

ISRS Agreed-Upon Compliant Financial Reporting

ISRS Agreed-Upon allows auditors to gather appropriate evidence for the compliance reporting requirements of ISRS 4400 in line with procedures agreed. Powered by Caseware Cloud, ISRS Agreed-Upon is always available from any location, on any device, at any time, and is licensed on a per-engagement basis, which means you can buy what you need when you need it, and top up at any time.

An accounting module that enables compliant financial reporting, it assists with performing the responsibilities of a practitioner engaged to perform an agreed-upon procedures engagement in accordance with ISRS 4400. To balance efficiencies and make compliance easier, ISRS Agreed-Upon includes two profiles, Core and Extended.

ISRS Core Profile

This is designed with experienced practitioners in mind, provides only the procedures needed to meet the minimum requirements of ISRS 4400, removing all additional procedures to assist with documentation.

ISRS Extended Profile

This is designed with inexperienced practitioners in mind, expands on the Core Profile by adding procedures that take the application and explanatory material of ISRS 4400 into account, and guides practitioners with more detail in documenting the relevant requirements.

Three Elements Of Agreed-Upon In One

This accounting software module is designed to incorporate the three major elements of an agreed-upon into one seamless process, Accepting, Performing, and Reporting.

The Accepting Phase will assist with understanding the firm’s policies for agreed-upon engagements as well as performing acceptance or continuance procedures and agreeing procedures with clients. With advanced optimisations, ISRS Agreed-Upon will utilise checklists, questionnaires, queries, and work programs that intelligently expand or collapse according to the engagement.

The Performing Phase allows practitioners to perform agreed-upon procedures as defined in the planning phase. The work program consists of a detailed plan of the procedures that must be performed and also includes the steps required to conclude on the procedures and document the respective findings to achieve the engagement objectives.

By utilising queries, ISRS Agreed-Upon allows practitioners to communicate and collaborate directly with clients within the app whilst providing transparent visibility to partners at all times. With engagement management built-in, the progress for every engagement and statuses of all engagements across the firm can easily be tracked and monitored.

And finally, the Reporting Phase assists in discussing findings with management, preparing the agreed upon report, ensuring that the report is appropriately worded, completing and locking down the engagement. With built-in workflows, information is recorded once-off, using a structured methodology that reduces the risk of inconsistencies and errors in the agreed-upon procedures report.

Find out more about ISRS Agreed-Upon, an intuitive, cloud-based solution to streamline agreed-upon assurance engagements and enable compliant financial reporting.

Audit Quality – a Strategic Imperative

“Audit quality and independence needs to be aligned”

Edwin Selbst, Owner SARE Consulting, Assurance and Quality Specialist, lifts the lid on the production of Quality Audits.

Co-Dependence of Quality and Ethics

Recent audit scandals and failures, both locally and internationally, have served to highlight the crucial need for quality and ethics – both need to be positioned front and centre of every: audit firm; regulatory body; shareholders; business leaders and the greater investment community’s, agenda. Audit quality and independence needs to be aligned to ensure that the expectation gap in the market is narrowed and to ensure investor confidence is restored.

What is the backdrop to this?

“Audit quality is directly linked to ethics”

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) revised the International Code of Ethics in 2018 and audit regulators around the world responded with local amendments to their ethical codes. As audit quality is directly linked to ethics and specifically independence, this necessitated audit firms to respond to incorporate the additional requirements in their audit quality systems. A system of quality control sits at the forefront of audit quality maintenance as it focuses on: the independence of audit teams; the servicing of clients with competence plus due professional care; providing skills that will deliver audit quality whilst ensuring familiarity threats do not prevent the achievement of quality.

Audit Quality and Independence

“The managing partner of a firm is responsible for overall quality”

While audit quality is a collective effort, responsibility rests on leadership. Organisation’s quality control manuals incorporate the policies and procedures required to effectively carry out a quality audit. In the audit context, this means the managing partner of a firm is responsible for overall quality. On an audit engagement, an engagement partner is responsible for the audit quality for audit opinions which he issues.

“Independence is crucial”

Independence in the assurance market is crucial. The greatest challenge is how the auditor is perceived by other stakeholders. It is in this context that regulators around the world have focused on the independence aspect of ethics. As audit quality is directly linked to an auditor’s perceived independence, numerous improvements to quality control systems have been implemented to enhance independence. Enhancements include: clarification of roles such as key audit partners, external quality control reviewers as well as those that provide technical knowledge. Cooling off periods have been increased in order to further reduce the familiarity threat – this is where members of an assurance team either rotate; move off an engagement, or change roles while still involved. Increased levels of protection have also been introduced for clients where an audit firm has custody of client money or assets.

Focus of Audit Quality

“It’s a winning formula”

Enhancements to audit quality implemented as a result of international changes include:

    • Clarification of roles and responsibilities of key players as part of the assurance model.
    • Additional guidance around inducements received by the auditor, including gifts and hospitality.
    • The management of self-interest threats and the appropriate use of safeguards.
    • Alternative courses of action to be followed where a safeguard is not deemed an adequate response to reduce a threat to an acceptable level.

Are you compliant?

“You need to get with the programme”

The changes to the International Code of Ethics were effective from 15 June 2019, mandating all audit firms to implement same as part of their system of quality control. In this way they will ensure that they have responded to international and local compliance requirement and updated their systems of quality control to provide stakeholders with the enhanced independence and audit quality upgrades which are now effective.

Brief Bio:

Edwin Selbst, Owner SARE Consulting, Assurance and Quality Specialist
Edwin is a Registered Auditor and Chartered Accountant South Africa. He has in excess of 20 years in the assurance market, previously Head of Assurance at W.consulting and prior to that was the audit technical partner at a medium-sized audit firm with a focus on both listed and family owned businesses. Edwin is the past chairman of SAICA’s Assurance Guidance Committee and still an active participant at the IRBA’s Committee for Assurance Standards.

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