Smoothing the journey to SMSF audit independence

Change may not always be easy, but independent SMSF audit specialist – Evolv, offers a dedicated onboarding process that is helping accountants and business advisers transition to SMSF audit independence.

The requirements for SMSF audit independence that take effect from 1 July 2021, is seeing a groundswell of activity as accounting firms begin the process of forming new relationships with their auditors.

It can be a disruptive experience for some. But SMSF audit specialist – Evolv, is taking an innovative approach with a client-centric onboarding process that ensures a frictionless transition.

A dedicated onboarding manager

Muhammad Khalid, Audit Manager at Evolv, is at the helm of the onboarding process. As the ‘Onboarding Manager’ he guides each new accounting firm client through the process of transitioning their SMSF audits to Evolv, and acts as a single point of contact to answer any queries.

“We certainly don’t rush new clients,” explains Khalid. “While our individually tailored client plans typically consider a transition period of 2-3 months for their SMSF audits, the transition period is much shorter for the majority of new clients.”

Collaboration and communication are essential in the relationship

Evolv’s onboarding journey begins with a two-way familiarisation process, where the Evolv team spends time understanding the current accountant’s SMSF admin process output, and considers the integration of this with the Evolv system. 

“New clients have typically completed their SMSF audits in-house, and we understand that each firm has its own way of doing things,” says Khalid. “So our first step in onboarding is to get to know the accountant’s process.  This enables upfront collaboration and agreement on the integration process, to facilitate an effective transition with Evolv.”

Along with supportive onboarding, Evolv’s audit approach is efficient and very secure. Accounting firms are able to download data files, upload documents and communicate – all via a secure portal, without any need to email sensitive information. In addition, Evolv’s automated processes enable whole data files to be ingested, eliminating the need to request copies of documents for data fed transactions – a significant time saving. 

With us every step of the way

Christine Lapkiw, Senior Associate at Level One Business & Financial Advisers, agrees that, “Evolv made the onboarding process easy.”

Lapkiw explains, “We were introduced to a point of contact in each area and then received follow up calls to see how we were going. Their staff were with us every step of the way either by telephone or email. Response time was – and still is – amazing, no matter how big or small the issue.”

Along with the dedicated attention of an onboarding manager, Evolv also provides a range of tools and support through its client portal.

The experience to navigate problem areas

The first year of outsourcing the audit function is often a critical period – one that offers important opportunities to address any historical compliance issues. Khalid observes that accountants can sometimes be apprehensive about how their own audit files will stack up against those of a specialist SMSF auditor.

“It’s an understandable concern,” notes Khalid. “But it comes back to our collaborative approach. In fact, using a specialist firm like Evolv really works in our clients’ favour.

“SMSF audits are all we do, and given that we audit thousands of SMSFs each year, we are very familiar with a variety of potential danger zones that an accounting firm may only rarely encounter. So we are well-equipped to recognise and help our clients work through such issues.”

A high tech, high touch approach

A key point of difference is Evolv’s innovative use of technology and bespoke software to streamline the audit process. 

“The reliance we place on data feeds and the automation of the audit process is a key enabler in supporting the skill development of our team of SMSF audit specialists in complex and higher risk audit and compliance considerations. This lets Evolv provide a true value-added service to our accounting firm clients, which in turn benefits their SMSF clients,” says Khalid. 

This approach, backed by a carefully considered onboarding process, has seen Evolv earn a place among the network of professional services that many accountants rely on to deliver outstanding service to their own client base.

To learn more about how Evolv can help your practice meet SMSF audit requirements, contact David Goldsmith at Evolv on or call 1300 886 536.