As a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience in accounting, auditing and finance, Pineiro has seen many changes and challenges in the industry. But that’s nothing compared to how he spends his leisure time.
“I am now an ultra marathon swimmer, but I come from Argentina. In my first race, I almost drowned,” he says. “So, I set a goal that in two years I was going to swim the English Channel. And that's exactly what I did.”
As a global face of Greenpeace in December 2021, Pineiro swam 100km to highlight the need to reduce plastic pollution in oceans. He also recently completed the Australian Triple Crown, a marathon ocean swimming challenge encompassing 20km plus swims in three states.
This drive to excel and determination is seen in his approach to his role in heading the APAC division of Confirmation, part of Thomson Reuters, a secure end-to-end platform that validates financial data and helps streamline the job of auditors by replacing the traditional paper authorisation process with a single digital authorisation, ensuring confirmation is faster and fraud-free.
Efficient and safe
Just as the first step Pineiro took to becoming an elite swimmer was addressing his stroke to maximise its effectiveness, the first step Confirmation took was addressing a flaw in the laborious and manual auditing process that is susceptible to fraud.
“Confirmation is used globally by more than 16,000 audit firms, including 4000 banks, 5000 law firms, and all of the Big Four. It has even been used by several United States government departments,” he says. “We have the controls in place to confirm financial statements, which is a vital part of any external audit. The auditor needs to verify through the bank whether their client has the funds they disclose.”
A secure digital platform gives auditors control over the process from start to finish. All signatures, attachments and completed confirmation documents are protected using AEwS-256 encryption, significantly reducing the risk of financial data being accessed by an unauthorised party.
Pineiro takes a collaborative approach at Confirmation, where he works side-by-side with firms as the leading automator of financial verification papers around the world.
“For 22 years we’ve been trying to automate the manual paper process of confirmations to ensure that frauds don’t happen again,” he says.
Today, the platform allows electronic confirmations to be sent to any responder with guaranteed responses from validated banks, all the while reducing what used to be a weeks-long process to days. It also enables auditing specialists to better manage their workload by initiating audit requests up to 90 days in advance.
“So many frauds would never happen simply by using a trusted confirmation automation service,” he said. “Something like the Wirecard scandal – a billion dollar fraud – could have been avoided altogether. Too many auditors rely on the contact information for banks supplied by clients. We remove this possibility completely.”
Indeed, Pineiro said that large-scale frauds are still possible in Australia today because there are banks who still do not use online confirmations. They are risking not just regulator scrutiny and financial penalties, but falling behind their competitors.
With banks and regulators becoming more open to new technology, Pineiro says we are likely to see more technology-driven audits which allow companies to streamline, automate and digitalise the confirmation process. Importantly, it gives the auditor greater control of their work while ensuring compliance with the Auditing Standard ASA 505.
“The pandemic has forced auditing to go electronic and automated. I think we're going to see a change in the profession,” he says.
Resilience in finance
The Confirmation platform offers a better experience for audit clients and helps future proof their business. The online service can help to securely manage all parties' data and interactions. Advantages include quick turnaround time, 100% response rate, authorized/validated parties and a low error rate.
“The automation and digitisation of auditing is the next big thing,” Pineiro says. “What's happening now with open banking, there's going to be this continuous audit. People won’t just audit at a point in time, they will audit throughout the year.”
Pineiro compares his job with his swimming. In the latter, he has learned that if you stick with something, you tend to make it through.
“If you really want to take your company to the next level, obviously there are external factors. In swimming it might be the current, in the professional world, it might be the economy,” he says. “Perseverance is key. It’s all about the journey.”
Pictured: Victor Pineiro CA
“Perseverance is key. It’s all about the journey.”
Pineiro already has that next journey mapped out. In September, he will be attempting to swim from Ireland to Scotland, which is considered the most difficult open water swim in the world.
A bit like the world of finance, it takes a team effort to get him out there, but once you’re in the water, all eyes are on the actions of individuals.
“When it comes to the business world, an individual can change a company,” says Pineiro. “They can make a difference. And that's what I try to do day in and day out.”
Find out more:
To find out how Confirmation can streamline your auditing and help build resilience in your business,visit https://www.apac.confirmation.com/en-au/chartered-accountants-anz