The CohnReznick Group has used the Confirmation platform for many years, initially tasking each audit team to manage their own audit confirmation requests. Recognizing the benefit of electronic confirmations, the firm wanted to bring additional efficiencies to the entire process.
As a way to drive audit efficiency and address fraud risk, several years ago the firm decided to make the switch to electronic confirmations. Rather than replace paper confirmations nationwide, the firm decided to pilot electronic confirmations starting in its Atlanta office.
Previously, each audit team had been responsible for sending and receiving the confirmations for its client. Together with the switch to electronic confirmations, the firm felt that even more efficiencies could be realized if it centralized its confirmation effort.
Responsibility for managing the confirmation process was transferred from individual audit teams to two paraprofessionals in the Atlanta office. The two of them received personalized training from Confirmation on how to operate its system, and the electronic confirmation process was up and running.
Paraprofessional John Huynh estimates that each busy season he sends and receives thousands of bank confirmations. “Before, you never saw how much work it really took because confirmations weren’t centralized in one place. Now I can see it all. It’s a huge effort.
The Confirmation system stores audit client and bank data in its system, which makes it easy to reprise each client’s confirmation requests from year-to-year. Once the audit team begins its fieldwork they make any necessary changes to the previous year’s data, John pushes a button, and the confirmations are sent.
“I can literally get a response within an hour,” says John. “It goes right to the bank’s queue, and they have to give me some kind of response. It doesn’t get lost.”
Before using electronic confirmations, each audit team would send out paper confirmations and wouldn’t expect an answer back for several weeks. The time and aggravation spent following up on confirmation requests was significant.
Like other Confirmation.com clients, The CohnReznick Group paraprofessionals participate in designing enhancements to the system. Clark Hudgins, Vice President, routinely gathers input from clients on how to improve the user experience. Says John, “Clark will call and ask ‘hey, John, what do you think of this?’ and I tell him.” Many of these user suggestions eventually become system upgrades.
Because of the success of the Atlanta office pilot, The CohnReznick Group now uses electronic confirmations on all audits nationwide. They’ve added even more efficiency by following the lead set by the Atlanta office to centralize all audit confirmations.
CohnReznick worked with Confirmation to implement a centralized solution that would help bring increased efficiencies to the firm’s audit confirmation process. Using a centralized process, the firm moved the audit confirmation responsibility from their individual audit teams to two dedicated paraprofessionals.
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