Digital confirmation simplifies workflow for auditor firms

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With the integrity of some of the world’s largest audit and consultancy firms under the spotlight, particularly in South Africa where such industry doyens as KPMG, Bain & Co and McKinsey & Co have been accused of facilitating state capture either through omission or commission, any moves that will improve management of the audit process are to be welcomed.

One such move is this week’s finalisation of the acquisition of fintech firm Confirmation, by Thomson Reuters, a global provider of business information services including tax, accounting and compliance tools.

Confirmation introduced electronic confirmation nearly 20 years ago – a move which, it says, `reshaped the audit confirmation process’. It claims that its digital platform helps 1.5 million users across 170 countries (including South Africa) confirm more than $1 trillion in financial data every year.

Brian Fox, president and founder of Confirmation, who will join Thomson Reuters in an executive role, said accounting firms, banks and law firms use Confirmation’s technology to improve workflow, increase efficiency and reduce risk.

“The audit industry is changing rapidly, with confirmations being a critical, yet previously challenging part of the process. New technologies and the widespread electronic storage of financial information are now making audit transformation possible,” said Charlotte Rushton, president, Tax & Accounting Professionals, Thomson Reuters, in a statement announcing the deal.

At the time, she told Dallas Innovates that the acquisition of Confirmation would further simplify the audit workflow for customers by `automating the confirmation process of an audit, which is inefficient and prone to fraud’.

The acquisition, she continued, would enhance the capabilities of the firm’s Cloud Audit Suite, by helping with the delivery of `integrated know-how and complete workflow management for audit professionals’.

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