BBA speeds up auditing confirmations with new online service

Banks and auditors will have greater control of the auditing process when platform is launched

Hundreds and thousands of businesses, charities and other organisations will benefit from safer, faster and more secure auditing in the new year, following the launch of the British Bankers’ Association’s (BBA’s) new online confirmation service.

Whenever a company or other body wants to file their accounts, their auditors must send an audit confirmation letter to the entity’s banks – to check that the figures in the financial statements are accurate.

Until now this process has been conducted using the postal service, which has often posed serious difficulties for the organisation filing its accounts.

Some 40% of auditors say they have had to delay signing an audit opinion due to missing confirmations. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds (66%) of clients have had to contact their bank due to a missing confirmation.

The current system costs European organisations more than £250m a year, auditors say.

Under the new online system, which is called BBA Confirmations, banks and auditors will have greater control of the audit confirmation process.

The new service will allow accountants to upload their audit requests to an online platform, which will enable the banks to respond much more quickly. This could cut the time taken to confirm an audit from months to a matter of days. It will also provide visibility to customers over how they obtain audit confirmation letters, which are vital to complying with audit regulations.

Anthony Browne, BBA chief executive, said: “This safe new system will pull a key part of the auditing process into the 21st century.”

He added: “BBA Confirmations is a secure platform that will help banks, businesses and auditors save millions of hours so they can get back to helping power the economic recovery.”

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