Date posted: 01/08/2023 5 min read

How to make KYC and AML a breeze

Legislation that makes the identity verification of new clients mandatory means accountants are embracing automation to ease their burden. Brought to you by Annature.

Record numbers of Kiwi accountants are embracing automation as strict industry protocols aimed at reducing identity theft and fraud render traditional manual processes untenable. Proof of Identity guidelines to combat ever more sophisticated cybercrime have just been introduced in Australia at a time when anti-money laundering (AML) and ‘know your client’ (KYC) strategies are both more critical to businesses than ever.

New Zealand has had similar rules in place for several years, but its accounting firms are still contending with a range of challenges, particularly if they haven’t implemented automation.

In the financial year ending in June 2022, 159,000 Australians experienced identity theft, over half a million were approached online by scammers and 1.7 million were victims of card fraud. Police in New Zealand, meanwhile, have warned that cybercriminals are increasing in number and using more innovative tactics. The implications of such staggering figures for the accounting profession are immense, says Annature cofounder and CEO Amreeta Abbott. “When an accounting firm is onboarding new clients, there are mandatory identity checks that have to be done, but verifying documentation and processing the information required is a mammoth task if you’re doing it manually,” she says.

Annature co-founder and CEO Amreeta AbbottPictured: Amreeta Abbott, Annature co-founder and CEO

“This isn’t a product that has to shift to meet requirements – security and compliance is there from day one.”
Amreeta Abbott, Annature

Digital verification

“The only reliable solution is digital verification, as it stops fraud in its tracks,” says Abbott. “Platforms like Annature make it straightforward for clients to verify from their mobile phones through a secure online application.

“Not only that, but communications are white-labelled and branded so they appear to come from the accountants themselves. Unlike email, the application is entirely secure, with end-to-end encryption and ISO 27001 certification underpinning our information security management system.”

She has identified three key problems that accountants face when meeting regulatory requirements that such systems address:

1. Security: Financial data is particularly valuable to would-be identity thieves. This feeds into trust issues, as clients can become worried when they’re asked for identification documents.

2. Trust: “This is critical at the moment,” says Abbott. “Some accountants are outsourcing this component to third parties, who contact clients on their behalf. But how do individuals know whether the request is legitimate?”

3. Efficiency: When financial processes are slowed down by security concerns or a lack of trust, clients ask about what’s causing the potentially costly delays.

An affordable option

Traditional e-verification providers can prove too costly for small and medium-sized enterprises, sometimes charging up to A$40 per client.

“That works out as an enormous sum if you have hundreds of clients on your books,” says Abbott. “Our off-the-shelf pricing starts at A$9.60 and is scalable by volume, so it’s at least four times less expensive from the outset.”

Automating the process means all the verification requests can be sent remotely in one day, making it affordable for small practices and stress-tested for the needs of larger businesses.

“We’re also purpose-built to be fully compliant with all the relevant guidelines,” she says. “This isn’t a product that has to shift to meet requirements as security and compliance are there from day one.”

Find out more

To find out how Annature can lower your verification costs, improve engagement and elevate customer satisfaction, visit