Date posted: 29/07/2022 5 min read

Three client verification problems

New Australian guidelines are placing technical and financial burdens on accountants. Lessons from overseas show that it doesn’t have to be this way. Brought to you by Annature.

The new proof of identity (POI) guidelines from Australia’s Tax Practitioners Board have been implemented due to the increasing incidence of identity theft and fraud, but also an increased focus from government agencies on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism measures, says Corey Cacic, co-founder and chief technical officer at Annature.

“Accountants onboarding new clients may not always be able to do the sufficient checks necessary when it comes to verifying identity and documentation,” he says.

Corey CacicPictured: Corey Cacic, co-founder and CTO at Annature

“Accountants onboarding new clients may not always be able to do the sufficient checks necessary when it comes to verifying identity and documentation.”
Corey Cacic, Annature

While New Zealand has had similar guidelines in place for some time, they still face the same issues. The answer? Digital verification not only stops fraud in its tracks, it tackles the three key problems that accountants face when meeting regulatory requirements: security, trust and efficiency.

Security is important because financial data is particularly valuable to would-be identity thieves. This feeds into trust issues, as clients can become worried when they see requests asking them to supply identification documents.

“Trust is a big one at the moment,” says Cacic. “Some accountants are outsourcing this component to third parties, who are then contacting clients on their behalf asking for identification documents. How do they know the request is legitimate?”

Trust then feeds into efficiency, because the lack of it means that questions are asked and processes are delayed. The solution is a platform like that offered by Annature.

“With Annature, it’s super easy for clients to verify from their mobile phones through our secure online application. Communications come white-labelled and branded so they appear to come from the accountant themselves,” says Cacic.

“Unlike email, the application is entirely secure with end-to-end encryption and ISO 27001 certification underpinning our information security management system.”

Annature in action

Traditional e-verification providers have operated with huge margins that can prove too costly for small and medium enterprises. Cacic refers to a recent case study in New Zealand, where an accounting practice acquired another firm and needed to rapidly conduct KYC and AML checks on its 3500 clients.

“That process was going to cost them up to $40 per client — so over $100,000 in total. Our off -the-shelf retail pricing starts at $9.60 and is scalable by volume, so it’s at least four times less expensive from the outset,” he says.

“We were able to automate the process, and remotely send all of the verification requests in one day. All contact was white-labelled, meaning that their brand was in front of their customers at all times.”

Powered by Stripe and FrankieOne, Annature’s solution is both affordable for small practices and stress-tested for the needs of larger businesses.

“We are purpose built to be fully compliant with TPB and the ATO guidelines. This isn’t a product that has to shift to meet requirements – security and compliance is there from day one.”

Find out more:

To lower your verifi cation costs, improve engagement and elevate customer satisfaction, visit www.annature.com.au/partners/ca.