2019 Customer Conference – Top 5 Takeaways

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From our CEO, Craig Waldon.

We tried things a little differently this year, only doing one customer conference and focusing on the future of audit as the theme. But I believe this was the best one to date. There was a fantastic buzz around the room with some very engaging discussions taking place. It is always great to see so many familiar faces, as well as some new ones. Thank you to everyone who attended both in-person and online via our webcast. Click here to see what our customers thought of the conference.

We see our conference as an invaluable exercise to both; show what we’re working on and to communicate with so many customers face to face. It also provides an opportunity for our customers to network with each other which, hopefully, generates some broader discussions about CaseWare and the industry as a whole. If you weren’t able to attend the conference, we recorded most of it via a webinar. 

With the introduction of new technologies, it’s an interesting time to be involved in the audit industry as there are some exciting challenges and opportunities associated with change. It was great to have President and CEO of CaseWare International, Dwight Wainman deliver a very engaging presentation which explored these new technologies. It was very evident that auditors must continue to upskill and understand how these technologies influence them and their clients. The traditional audit is changing and we will continue to work with the standards setters and industry leaders to provide our customers with solutions for every audit.

Hopefully, our conference contributed to this discussion and gave customers some insight into what we have planned in the future. Here are my five key takeaways from the conference:

1. Attendees from near and far

It was so fantastic to see 18 interstate customers make the effort to come to Melbourne for the conference. Every state and territory, except NT, was represented by someone. Special shoutout to Laura from HLB who came all the way from Fiji! Thanks to all those interstate attendees for the special effort.

2. Engagement of attendees

This variety in attendee background made for great engagement and interaction throughout the whole day. I had many great discussions with people and it was great to see almost everyone stick around for the final technical session. This resulted in many questions being fired at Sarah and David during that session, most in regarding Xtend and how to use CaseWare as an audit team.

3. Webcasting works

We tried something new this year by streaming most of the conference via a webcast. This was a resounding success with most saying that it was a good substitute for not attending. We had over 40 viewers at one time with most watching the entire webcast of the conference. We will definitely continue to explore this option more in future and hopefully make it a more seamless experience for our viewers.

 4. Absorbing panel discussions

In another conference first for us, we decided to run an expert panel on the topic of the future of audit and how we can work together to navigate change. It was one of the highlights of the day with some fascinating discussions on; parliamentary inquiries, data analytics and recruiting models. The panel was chaired by David Stevens and our panellists were; our own Dwight Wainman, Amanda White from the University of Technology, Matthew Zappulla from the AUASB and Melanie Scott from the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. Having input from these industry influencers was invaluable so thanks to all involved.

5. Industry developments

The buzz around the room could be attributed to the exciting developments surrounding the audit industry. This was very clear in the panel discussion. This was summed up well by Dwight during the panel discussion:

“We’re in a wonderful area of AI and data analysis. We’re going back to our roots with this, that’s what our profession should learn and understand. But we have that other thing that no other profession has; we understand independence, we’re sceptics. All of those things an engineer doesn’t have.

So I think the future is both learning and understanding, but now the question is how do we get over there?”

Thanks again to everyone who was involved in attending and organising our 2019 conference, we hope to see you again next year!