Registry Data - Shareholding Auditor Evidence

Hi All,
Presently, we spend a lot of time downloading share registry reports to support investment holdings @ year end to verify holdings and provide evidence to the Auditor. Does anyone use the registry data report (verifying holdings = registry data) as evidence for Audit purposes - that the Auditor accepts?
If not, how does everyone efficiently gather evidence of this kind for Audit? i.e. do you have your admin team do this piece? is there other tech that can automate this? Thx

One could upload Chess Statements to the relevant part of Workpapers. My Auditor however accepts Uploaded Dividend/Distribution statements which show holdings as evidence. What is the Auditor asking for?

Where a client has a portfolio report from their trading platform, we will provide the auditor with a sample of share confirmations from the share registry. Our auditors will generally accept the same where the the BGL Registry Data feed is set up, but the auditor will dictate this. A sample is typically 1in 3, 4 or 5.

Our accounting team does this as part of the usual workpaper setup, but it is definitely a task that you could delegate to a more junior team member if you have staff with a lesser chargeout rate.

I’m not aware of any other tech that would negate this process.

Most of our SMSF clients with shares do so through a trading platform, hence we are provided with the Portfolio Valuation Reports at EOFY. For those who do not trade on a platform, usually dont have a lot of shares, and i will view registry and download transaction history to attach and confirm holding balances.

My firm accepts using the Balance Review feature in SF360 to confirm the holding balances at 30 Jun, it has been quite reliable so far - https://sf360.zendesk.com/hc/en-au/articles/360017838732

That is terrific, saves a bunch of time over downloading each holding record from share registries.
I am inquiring with our Auditors at the moment - we use Evolv.

We now use the balance review report as evidence - you should turn on the Registered Name too.

Our Auditor also requires the list of HINs so he can do random checks for the funds that he is relying on this report for.

All we have to do is get BGL to fix the horrendous formatting issues this report has when you enable the ‘Registered Name’

I spend a lot of time on this too. If the client gives me a proper statement of CHESS holdings (ie has the HIN on the report) I will link this rather than do each registry holding individually.
Technically I don’t think the auditor should accept the Balance Review feature as they would need an audit report on controls for that feature.

Agree with you there CAXSB - just like Freman’s Auditor, we also do spot checks as well but have found the data to be quite reliable.

I wonder whether BGL will be heading in the same route as Class Super with providing a annual ASAE 3402 Assurance Report…

Our Auditor has just confirmed that attaching the holding reports from registries does not make the audit process easier as they need to source evidence independently regarding ownership of list shares and unit trusts. They only require us to provide SRN/HIN and postcode info. Therefore, the process of us downloading and linking each registry holding report is only to benefit our internal QA workpaper process. We have decided to largely rely on the Balance Review report (where applicable) and maybe do a registry check for the top 2-3 holdings for extra assurance. This should save plenty of time.
The same goes for dividend statements and the Income Comparison Report (i.e. the Auditor does not rely on any uploaded dividend statements as evidence to help them).

1 Like