Author: Craig Waldon, CEO CaseWare Australia & New Zealand
We were really pleased with the turnout and response of our customers to our recent conferences held in Melbourne & Sydney. Chatting with our customers as a group and putting faces to names is always a worthwhile exercise. Thank you to all who attended the day, and to our own staff who organised the event, presented, or were on hand to answer questions and meet and greet.
As CEO, it’s always great to get good feedback. Anecdotal evidence is always welcome, but this year we managed to get some hard data using both our RSVP form and the online feedback tool Mentimeter.
These findings were key:
- Our customers really like us and our software tools & service efforts.
- Webinars are really useful and the choice of topics we suggested would all be well received.
- A significant majority of attendees are using our Cloud offering.
- Most customers believe they need to incorporate the use of Data Analytics in their audit methodology to stay relevant, but the majority are only part-way through this change journey.
- Given technology advancements and the progression of AI and machine learning, there is apprehension around the future of the Audit industry.
- 5 = Great, would recommend you to my peers
- 1 = Only OK, doing the job but meh….
Thankfully, we didn’t get rated below a 3, which is particularly gratifying as it seems we are delivering on your requirements and more than meet your expectations.
So we asked for some specific topics and had responses such as Analytics, Analytics case studies, Risk areas and best practices for some of the key audit and financial reporting documents in our templates. So we’ll look to include all of these suggestions in our 2019 webinar program.
This graph was the result of the feedback tool used during our Melbourne conference however, the proportions for Sydney were very similar. A significant majority of the attendee firms were utilising our CaseWare Cloud offerings – Audit and Working Papers, or potentially just using the Cloud for the other apps available or as a secure client portal.
This is a major shift from 24 months ago, and Cloud adoption and use seems to be increasingly on the rise and for a significant majority of firms, is the preferred technology direction strategy.
There is consistent interest in Data Analytics tools and techniques, and many firms have only just started on this journey. A great number of firms realise they need to know more about this trend and how it can enhance the quality and effectiveness of their audits, and provide better value to clients.
We’ll be producing more content on Data Analytics during 2019. Watch out for our blog updates and our webinar programs, as well as a new product announcement in this space.
The Future of the Audit Industry
Customers have acknowledged that there is widespread concern from staff over the ever-increasing ability of technology and the application of AI and machine learning to traditional audit functions.
Dwight Wainman, CEO of CaseWare International is upbeat about the long-term future of audit and auditors, as long as the industry keeps embracing the technology and retraining themselves and their staff. The traditional audit is definitely changing – new technologies must be embraced to derive better outcomes for both audit clients and the auditor. Auditors must re-skill to understand the new outcomes from the technology solutions and help their clients understand and apply results to their businesses, moving from a purely standard statutory audit role to a more business advisory role.
This article from InTheBlack may also be worth reading: https://www.intheblack.com/articles/2018/11/06/soft-skills-or-technical-skills
Overall, we’re heartened by the enthusiasm of our customers for our products and our service.
I’ll leave you with a few of the quotes provided by some of the attendees:
“CaseWare is easy to use and complies with ASA requirements. It is also easy to prepare financial statements within CaseWare program instead of doing it from scratch.”
“CaseWare does what our audit team require of it and your support staff are excellent.”
“Engaging team, willingness to assist where possible. The product is reliable.”
“The fact that I can now do away with paper-based files, and have access to my data wherever I am though CaseWare Cloud.”
“Good support; combined Audit and IFRS financials a winner”
The best thing…
“One form audit memo”
“Easy to use interface and good functionality.”
“Smartsync and working efficiently with colleagues”
“Makes preparing financial statements more efficient”
“templates! love the templates”