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Agenda Item 15.

3 AUASB Meeting 25-26 February 2008 Clean Version

APPENDIX 1 BANK CONFIRMATION AUDIT REQUEST (GENERAL)


Instructions Auditor
(a) (b) Complete all known details in shaded areas before forwarding to the bank. If the space provided on the form is inadequate please attach a statement giving the full details as required by the heading on the forms. Ensure that the details supplied are as at the confirmation date shown below. Complete unshaded areas, by listing information as called for under the relevant heading, from detail contained in the banks records. Confirm details in the shaded areas as to correctness, and highlight (or mark in red) any variation on all copies. Also highlight, or mark in red, any information that may have been omitted by the customer/auditor. If the entitys Treasury Operations extend beyond the foreign exchange contracts referred to in section 11, the details of these additional Treasury Operations should be provided using Appendix 2. Three (3) copies of the form should be received by the bank. All completed copies of the Confirmation are to be signed with original returned direct to the auditor in the enclosed stamped addressed envelope. The duplicate is to be forwarded to the client and the triplicate retained by the bank. This request and your response will not create any contractual or other duty with us. BANK NAME AND ADDRESS

Bank
(a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

(f) 1.

To Bank (Name & Address)

2.

AUDITOR CONTACT DETAILS Contact Name Telephone

Name & Address of Auditor

Email Address

Period end date (DD/MM/YYYY)

Customers authorised signature: .

Authority held Authority attached Date of Request (DD/MM/YYYY) Third Party Authority is attached Yes No 3. ENTITIES

Auditor: (a) Provide bank with the main account BSB Code and Account Number for each entity1 named in the request.

Bank: (a) Use the main account BSB Code and Account Number (supplied by the auditor) to identify all accounts linked to the entity or the entitys name. (b) Use the details obtained from part (a) above to complete section 6-17 below. (c) Complete sections 6-17 for accounts related to the entity not already listed as a result of part (a) above.

Entity includes companies, companies in a parent-subsidiary relationship, joint ventures, partnerships, trusts, and unincorporated associations. 1

Entities

BSB Code

Main Account Number

4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Please complete this section if an acknowledgement is required (see Appendix 5). Acknowledgement required OR by email By post Reference number to be quoted Template attached

5. FOLLOW UP DETAILS Please provide contact details for audit follow up purposes Follow up details Name Email address Reference number to be quoted

6. CREDIT ACCOUNT BALANCES (DD/MM/YYYY) Provide (a) details of all account balances in favour of the bank customer as at (b) details of any current accounts, interest bearing deposits, foreign currency accounts, convertible certificates of deposit, money market deposits, cash management trusts, internet based bank accounts, etc if not listed in the following sections. (c) details where your customers name is joined with that of other parties and where the account is in a trade name. (d) of any account or balance that is subject to any restriction(s) whatsoever and indicate the nature and extent of the restriction e.g., garnishee order. (e) details of any defaults during the period and full details (e.g., principal, interest , redemption terms, carrying amount of loans payable in default at the reporting, whether the default was remedied) of such defaults. Account Name Account Number Currency Interest Rate Balance

7. DEBIT ACCOUNT BALANCES (DD/MM/YYYY) Provide (a) details of all account balances owed to the bank as at by the bank customer in respect of overdraft accounts, bank loans, term loans, credit card balances, internet banking accounts, etc and also repayment terms. (b) details where your customers name is joined with that of other parties and where the account is in a trade name. (c) details of any account or balance that is subject to any restriction(s) whatsoever and indicate the nature and extent of the restriction e.g., garnishee order. (d) details of any defaults during the period and full details (e.g., principal, interest , redemption terms, carrying amount of loans payable in default at the reporting, whether the default was remedied) of such defaults. Repayment Terms e.g. monthly, quarterly, etc

Account Name

Account Number

Currency

Interest Rate

Facility Limit

Finance Remaining Undrawn

Term of Facility

Balance

8. PROMISSORY NOTES/BILLS OF EXCHANGE HELD FOR COLLECTION ON BEHALF OF THE CUSTOMER Maker/Acceptor Due Date Balance

9. CUSTOMERS OTHER LIABILITIES TO THE BANK Confirmation Date: (DD/MM/YYYY)

Provide details of the currencies, due dates and amounts of the following: (a) Acceptances, Bills discounted with recourse to the customer or any subsidiary or related party of the customer, Endorsed drafts/notes, Forward exchange contracts, Letters of credit, Liability in respect of shipping documents where customers account not yet debited. (b) Bonds, Guarantees, Indemnities or other undertakings given to the bank by the customer in favour of third parties (including separately any such items in favour of any subsidiary or related party of the customer). Give details of the parties in favour of whom guarantees or undertakings have been given, whether such guarantees or undertakings are written or oral and their nature. 2

(c) (d) (e) Notes 1

Bonds Guarantees, Indemnities or other undertakings given by you, on your customers behalf, stating whether there is recourse to your customer and/or any other related entity. Finance leases, credit cards (held in the name of or guaranteed by the entity). Other liabilities (including contingent liabilities) not already detailed. For each of the items noted above provide include date, name of beneficiary, amount and brief description of any guarantees, bonds or indemnities undertaken by the bank on behalf of the customer (with recourse) or given by the customer For each of the items noted above provide details of any defaults during the period and full details (e.g., principal, interest , redemption terms, carrying amount of loans payable in default at the reporting, whether the default was remedied) of such defaults. Repayment Terms e.g. monthly, quarterly, etc

Note 2:

Name of Liability

Description

Currency

Due Date

Interest Rate

Facility Limit

Finance Remaining Undrawn

Term of Facility

Balance

10. ITEMS HELD AS SECURITY FOR CUSTOMERS LIABILITIES TO THE BANK With reference to the liabilities detailed in section 4 above provide details of the following: (a) Whether the securities relate to particular borrowings or liabilities to the bank and whether they are lodged in the customers name. (b) Any security formally charged (date, ownership and type of charge) (c) Whether the security supports facilities granted by the bank to the customer or to another party. (d) Whether there are any arrangements for set-off of balances or compensating balances e.g., back to back loans, give details (date, type of document and account covered) of any acknowledgement of set-off, whether given by specific letter of set-off or incorporated in some other document. (e) Whether the security is limited in amount or to a specific borrowing or if to your knowledge there is prior, equal or subordinate charge. (f) Any negative pledge arrangements. Description (include amount if applicable)

11. FOREIGN EXCHANGE CONTRACTS Provide details of foreign exchange contracts at confirmation date. Obligations to purchase/sell currency should be confirmed in terms of the banks indebtedness. Note: If the entitys Treasury Operations go beyond foreign exchange contracts, the details of these additional Treasury Operations should be provided in Appendix 2. Sell Currency Amount Exchange Rate Deal Date Maturity Date

Purchase Currency

Amount

12. ACCOUNTS OPENED/CLOSED List details of any accounts opened or closed during the twelve months prior to confirmation DD/MM/YYYY date Account Name Account Number Open/Closed Date opened/closed

13. SEALED PACKETS, LOCKED BOXES, SECURITY PACKETS ETC. Are there any sealed packets held on behalf of the customer? Yes Are there any locked boxes held on behalf of the customer? Yes Are there any security packets held on behalf of the customer? Yes No No No

14. UNUSED LIMITS/FACILITIES Please confirm details of all available unused limits/facilities at confirmation date. Amount of Facility Unused Conditions of Facility Use

Types of Facility

Amount of Facility

15. DEFAULTS AND BREACHES With reference to the customers liabilities to the bank, provide details of any defaults or breaches during the period and full details (e.g., principal, interest, redemption terms, carrying amount of loans payable in default at the reporting, bank covenants, whether the default was remedied) of such defaults and breaches. 16. AUTHORISED ACCESS AND SIGNATURES With reference to accounts that have cheque facilities and accounts that have internet banking facilities provide details of: (a) names of those authorised to sign cheques in the entitys name and/or log in to the entitys internet banking facilities. (b) authority limits on those authorised to sign cheques in the entitys name and/or to initiate transactions using the entitys internet banking facilities. (c) those accounts that require multiple cheque signatories and/or multiple log in authorities (include the names of the people with this authority). 17. OTHER INFORMATION Please confirm (see shaded area below) and/or provide any other details (unshaded area) relating to any financial relationships not dealt with under Sections to 6-16 above.

The information contained herein is confidential and provided for private use in confirmation of our customer accounts for audit purposes only. It may not be used for any other purpose or by any other persons. In particular this is not a credit reference.
Authorising Officers Signature Name Bank Stamp Date Completed & Returned

Title Telephone No.

APPENDIX 2 BANK CONFIRMATION AUDIT REQUEST (TREASURY OPERATIONS)


Instructions Auditor
(a) (b) Complete all known details in shaded areas before forwarding to the banks Treasury operations. If the space provided on the form is inadequate please attach a statement giving the full details as required by the headings on the form.

Bank
(a) (b) (c) (d) Ensure that the details supplied are as at the confirmation date shown below. Complete unshaded area, by listing information as called for under the relevant heading, from detail contained in the banks records. Confirm details in the shaded areas as to correctness, and highlight (or mark in red) any variation on all copies. Also highlight or mark in red, any information that may have been omitted by the customer/auditor. Three (3) copies of the form should be received by the bank. All completed copies of the Confirmation are to be signed with original returned direct to the auditor in the enclosed stamped addressed envelope. The duplicate is to be forwarded to the client and the triplicate retained by the bank. This request and your response will not create any contractual or other duty with us. BANK NAME AND ADDRESS

(e) 1.

To Bank (Name & Address)

2.

AUDITOR CONTACT DETAILS Contact Name Telephone

Name & Address of Auditor

Email Address

Period end date (DD/MM/YYYY)

Customers authorised signature: .

Authority held Authority attached Date of Request (DD/MM/YYYY) Third Party Authority is attached Yes No 3. ENTITIES

Auditor: (a) Provide bank with the main account BSB Code and Account Number for each entity2 named in the request.

Bank: (a) Use the main account BSB Code and Account Number (supplied by the auditor) to identify all accounts linked to the entity or the entitys name. (b) Use the details obtained from part (a) above to complete section 6-17 below. (c) Complete sections 6-17 for accounts related to the entity not already listed as a result of part (a) above. Entities BSB Code Main Account Number

Entity includes companies, companies in a parent-subsidiary relationship, joint ventures, partnerships, trusts, and unincorporated associations. 5

4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Please complete this section if an acknowledgement is required (see Appendix 5). Acknowledgement required OR by email By post Reference number to be quoted Template attached

5. FOLLOW UP DETAILS Please provide contact details for follow up purposes Follow up details 6 (a) Name Email address Reference number to be quoted

BALANCES OF ACCOUNTS (DEPOSIT& ADVANCES), SECURITIES HELD Please confirm details of all account balances [indicating currency (CCY)] as at DD/MM/YYYY Include details of: nostro accounts, vostro accounts, current accounts, interest bearing deposits, foreign currency accounts, convertible certificates of deposit, money market deposits, etc. Confirm details of any securities held for payment, e.g., Promissory Notes. Confirm details of direct liabilities (bank & term loans etc), indicating the collateral lodged by the customer in respect to each outstanding loan. Details of repayment terms should also be confirmed.
Account Number Balance DR/CR CCY Interest Rate Interest Accrued Date Paid Other Charges Maturity Date Collateral Lodged

(b)

(c)

Account Name

7. FORWARD RATE AGREEMENTS (FRAs) Please confirm details of all outstanding forward rate agreement contracts at confirmation date.
Name and Number of contract Period of Contract Start Date Maturity Date Notional Principal Amount CCY Contract/ Hedge Rate Fixed/ Floating Contract Borrower/ Contract Lender

8. FOREIGN EXCHANGE CONTRACTS Please confirm details of all outstanding foreign exchange contracts at confirmation date. Obligations to purchase/sell currency should be confirmed in terms of the banks indebtedness Purchase Currency Sell Currency Amount Exchange Rate Deal Date Maturity Date

Amount

9.

SINGLE CURRENCY INTEREST RATE SWAPS

Confirmation date Please confirm details of outstanding single currency interest rate swaps.
Start Date Maturity Date Notional Principal Amount CCY Receive Fixed/ Floating Payment Frequency Interest Rate Last Received Pay Fixed/ Floating Payment Frequency Interest Rate Last Paid

10. CROSS CURRENCY INTEREST RATE SWAPS Please confirm details of outstanding cross-currency interest rate swaps.
Start Date Maturity Date Received/Purchase Currency Notional CCY Payment Principal Frequency Amount Interest Rate Last Received Pay/Sell Currency Notional CCY Principal Amount Payment Frequency Interest Rate Last Paid

11. OPTIONS CONTRACTS (e.g., INTEREST, CURRENCY AND COMMODITIES) Please confirm details listed of outstanding options contracts as at confirmation date. Indicate the nature of each option contract e.g., Interest Rate Options (cap, collar etc).
Nature of Option Contract Option Type American/European Premium Strike Price CCY Expiry Date Put/Call Option Buy/Sell Contracts Outstanding (No.)

12. TREASURY FUTURES CONTRACTS Please confirm details listed of outstanding Treasury Futures Contracts e.g., BABs, Bonds.
Number of Contracts Type of Futures Contract Value Month Funds on Deposit & Margin Calls Long/Short Contracted Sales Price

13. NETTING (OFFSET) ARRANGEMENTS Please confirm the details of any arrangements for offset balances of compensating balances e.g. back to back loans, give particulars (i.e., date, type of document and accounts covered) of any acknowledgement of offset, whether given by specific letter of offset or incorporated in some other document.
Item Subject to Netting Arrangements Conditions of Netting

14. OTHER CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENTS Provide details of any other contractual arrangement(s) between the customer and the bank eg, forward bank bills/bonds, repurchase agreements, transactions packaged as a unique product for the customer, bullion contracts, commodity contracts, swap arrangements (near and far dates), credit derivatives including collateralised debt obligations (CDOs), and others (indicate their nature).
Nature of Contract Deal Date Maturity Date Value Date Face Value Consideration Coupon

The information contained herein is confidential and provided for private use in confirmation of our customer accounts for audit purposes only. It may not be used for any other purpose or by any other persons. In particular this is not a credit reference.
Authorising Officers Signature Name Bank Stamp Date Completed & Returned

Title Telephone No.

APPENDIX 3 AUTHORITY TO DISCLOSE INFORMATION - ILLUSTRATION

Name of Bank Street Suburb State [Entity/ies name] Date I/ We authorise [Name of Bank] including all branches and subsidiaries to provide to our auditor [Name of Auditor] any information that they may request from you regarding all and any of our accounts and dealings with you. ____________________ Signature(s) ____________________ Signature(s)

APPENDIX 4 EXAMPLE CLIENT REQUEST LETTER


The Manager _______________________________________ Date _______________________________________ Bank Name _______________________________________ Address Dear Sir, Bank Confirmation Request Client Name We would appreciate if you could provide for audit purposes the information requested in the attached form(s): Bank Confirmation Audit Request (General) Bank Confirmation Audit Request (Treasury Operations)

___________ BSB No.

To facilitate the timely completion of the audit, it would be appreciated if the forms were completed and returned by (Insert date). Please mail the original of the completed form(s) direct to our auditors as named in the forms and the duplicate to us in the stamped, addressed envelopes enclosed for this purpose. Any charge for providing this information is to be debited to _____________ Account. Yours faithfully

Authorised Signatory/Signatories Client Name

APPENDIX 5

REQUEST FOR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF BANK REPORT FOR AUDIT PURPOSES Please note Part A is to completed by the Auditor, Part B is to be completed by the Bank.

Part A This acknowledgement should be returned to:

Name and address of auditor

Please contact .. if you have any queries on this letter. Contact number

Email address

Part B Thank you for your request for a bank report for audit purposes in respect of: Entities Names BSB Code Main account Number

The request was received on (DD/MM/YYYY) Your request is being processed and the report will be sent to you once we have gathered the information sought. In the event of you needing to contact us, please address any enquiries to

Name and address of auditor

Expected response date (DD/MM/YYYY) Name of individual or section responsible Telephone number Email address

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APPENDIX 6

AUSTRALIAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION GUIDANCE NOTE FOR BANKS 1. PREFACE This document provides for an improved understanding of how auditors and banks can have a better working relationship, which will be to the mutual benefit of the client. The new process is also expected to support the banks in providing an improved service. 1.1 Delivery of the bank confirmation request Historically, banks have requested auditors to send the requests to a branch. However, many of the larger banks have now centralised such processes. That said, in the absence of a BSB code and account number, the use of a branch address at least gives the banks some information to start the search process. The acknowledgement, by the AUASB, of the importance of providing primary BSB codes and account numbers will facilitate the production of the banks response in a small number of service centres. This will enable auditors to send requests directly to a central address where this matches a banks business model. 1.2 Acknowledgements Banks providing acknowledgements, if requested, of audit requests will endeavour to do so within 5 working days of receipt. Where banks send acknowledgements via email, the audit firms reference number for the client - and not the clients name will be quoted for security reasons. Banks that do not acknowledge receipt of audit requests are identified on the ABAs website and contact details given for pursuing enquiries. 1.3 Enquiries Many of the enquiries received by banks from auditors are classed as being pre-production, e.g. confirming receipt of the instructions. Many of these enquiries result from the acknowledgement process not working as well as it could. As banks receiving audit requests centrally are able to issue an acknowledgement earlier in the process, those operating in this way are likely to experience a reduced volume of pre-production enquiries. For post-production enquiries, where possible, banks will provide a centralised enquiry point or details of how enquiries can be directed to the appropriate area. 1.4 Cooperation The collaborative approach between the banks and auditors has been instrumental to the redesign of the request templates which will deliver improvements in the service provided. 1.5 Speed The provision of primary account number information will address some of the issues experienced by the banks. It is essential that this information is provided, to enable the banks to commence their process more speedily. Account information is used for ensuring that the search is more robust but is also used to find information such as relationship details and allocate the request to the appropriate unit. This will enable the banks to action the requests more quickly, not only reducing initial administration time but also the time spent locating the customers across the bank network. The banks are committed to reducing their current SLAs and this revised process will support that aspiration. 1.6 Scope While the auditors have agreed on a best endeavours basis (see below), until periods ending on or after XXX 2008, to provide primary BSB code and account number information to subsidiary level, it is important that the banks commit to undertaking thorough searches of their records, in line with an authority to disclose, so that all evidence on a customer connection can be gathered. Auditors are not only looking for confirmation of what they already know but also evidence on what may have been omitted, deliberately or otherwise from information provided to them by their clients. 1.7 Timing As it will take auditors at least one audit season to collect the main BSB codes and account numbers for all the entities related to the request, the ABA has agreed that banks will answer requests for bank reports on a best endeavours basis, until year ends on or after XXXX 2008. "Best endeavours" means that banks will search for information relating to all entities named on a request even if account numbers are not given. 2. 2.1 CHECKING FOR ACCOUNTS AND WHY THE ACCOUNT NUMBERS ARE IMPORTANT Rather than undermine the search facility offered historically, the change in practice to auditors listing account information by entity provides a better platform on which to undertake the search for banking facilities in support of the third party audit verification. In discussion with the auditors it has been explained that bank systems are designed around an account number record. While searches by name are possible, IT systems in banks typically are designed to search by account number and not by name. Name information is usually recorded in an abbreviated format, therefore for a name only search to be successful there needs to be an exact match between the abbreviated name recorded and the entity name listed on the 11

2.2

audit letter request. Auditors now appreciate that considerable processing time is lost in trying to locate accounts in this way and that it can often be a trial and error exercise. 2.3 It is important to stress that it is not intended that searches should be restricted to the main BSB code and account number provided for each entity on the audit request. Instead, the information will be used to identify the relevant customer with greater accuracy and speed. In the case of most banks, information provided is used to identify a master account reference (or similar name) for an entity. It is the master account reference which is then used to search for all connected accounts in that entity name. Therefore, the ability on the part of the auditor to provide primary account number information by business entity will result in a more comprehensive search. Banks will base their search on all entities listed on the request. However, if as part of these searches, an account is identified against an entity, but the entity has not been listed on the audit letter request, banks should check whether the authority to disclose covers the entity in question. Providing it is listed on the authority as an entity, and signatures are appropriate, then the banks should report the existence of such an account in the audit letter reply. GENERAL AND TREASURY OPERATIONS GS009 distinguishes between a General request and a Treasury Operations request. A General request gathers information concerning: 3.3 3.4 Balances as at the year-end (providing request received in advance) Details of accounts opened and closed in the last 12 months Facilities Securities Defaults and Breaches Other banking relationships

2.4

3 3.1 3.2

A Treasury Operation request gathers information relating to a variety of treasury operations. During discussions, the banks have highlighted to the auditors that a high percentage of requests for supplementary information about treasury operations result in a nil return. The provision of a sample reference to a facility account number by the auditor will assist the bank to identify the units providing specialist services which need to be consulted. Banks can give information about these supplementary facilities reasonably easily provided that sample account or reference numbers for these facilities are given. The provision of reference details also ensures that supplementary information is only sought in circumstances where the facilities in question have been provided. Given that it will not always be possible for auditors to obtain this information banks should still undertake this type of search. It is, however, understood that this will lengthen the response time. It is a recommendation to auditors in the Guidance Statement that this type of request is only made after due consideration of the underlying customers business as part of the audit planning process. Audit firms will endeavour to adopt an approach in which they provide banks with suitable reference details and not to request searches in circumstances where their knowledge of the client makes it evident that such a search is unlikely to result in additional facilities being reported. General request Banks and auditors have agreed that this is likely to be the most used option. Auditors supply main BSB codes and account numbers of all entities. Banks able to identify connections using provided account numbers. Where the general search includes request for additional information, the auditors will provide sufficient reference numbers to identify the additional facilities or transactions for which confirmation is required. Searches for additional information directed to appropriate area using sample reference numbers. The auditors are keen to ensure that the provision of account numbers will not detract from the thoroughness of the searches conducted. Instead, it provides the bank with the information needed to facilitate a detailed search for accounts. Same care, reduced time.

3.5

3.6

4. 4.1

AUTHORITY TO DISCLOSE It is the auditors responsibility to ensure that their client has provided an authority addressed to the account holding bank and that this covers all relevant legal entities. Auditors will consider, as part of the audit planning process, whether there is a need for the authority to be updated. Banks should conduct searches against the business entities listed on the audit request and accounts which are found as a result of these searches checked against the authority to disclose held on bank records. Due to client confidentiality obligations, the bank should only disclose to auditors accounts in the name of entities for which they have an express authority to do so. Banks will check a new authority on receipt, or where the auditor indicates the existence of an authority from a previous year, against its records. If the authority cannot be verified it will be returned to the auditor together with any request for information for referral back to the client. SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENTS Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are competitive between banks are therefore, not standard, with each bank having their own arrangements. However, banks are committed to reducing their SLAs in line with more information being provided by auditors.

4.2

4.3

4.4

5. 5.1

12

6. 6.1

ENQUIRIES Banks receive a number of enquiries from auditors. The following guidance is intended to facilitate the enquiry process. Pre-production enquiries Banks should send an acknowledgement to the auditor within 5 working days of receipt by post or by email as requested. Where banks do not send acknowledgements on request, they are expected to publish a central enquiry that points or makes known who will deal with enquiries via the ABAs public website. Where a receipt of acknowledgement has not been received within 5 days the auditor should chase the bank to confirm receipt (this will reduce the number of urgent requests after the year-end has passed). Banks may indicate either an expected date when the auditor will receive the reply or provide an indication of their standard SLA for the process. Auditors have been requested to refrain from chasing for a response until the expected date of receipt has passed. Post-production enquiries Enquiry routes for individual banks will be identified on the ABAs public website. It is for each bank to ensure that the information provided remains up-to-date. Banks should either provide a centralised enquiry point or make known that requests should be addressed to relationship managers. Banks may provide a unique reference for each audit letter; where they do, auditors should use this reference when making post-production enquiries.

6.2

6.3

7. 7.1

REQUIREMENTS Forms - many ABA member banks use imaging technology for workflow management. Those banks may wish to make arrangements with auditors to use standard forms that have been tested for use in an image environment. These can be obtained from the ABA website or directly from the individual banks concerned. There are barriers at present on both the banking and the auditing side to requests being submitted securely using the internet. Submitting requests GS009 indicates that auditors deliver a request to the bank at least 15 days before the year end. The banks have underlined for the auditors the importance of this given the volumes of requests that they receive each month. This time is used to undertake preparatory work in advance of the year-end, such as sending out requests for completion by relevant departments. Account information auditors have been requested to provide, as a minimum, one main BSB code and account number for each legal entity listed on the request. It is clearly explained within the guidance statement note that the provision of BSB codes and account numbers by entity will contribute significantly to the efficiency of the search. Authority to disclose while there is no need to provide an authority each time, the auditors have a responsibility for checking with the client that the authority is up-to-date. Banks should regard authorities as on-going unless rescinded by the client. Enquiries auditors have been encouraged to make use of the bank reference number provided in the bank response to the request. This should improve enquiry handling as banks will be able to locate the file much more quickly. CLOSED ACCOUNTS Where an account relationship existed at the audit date but has subsequently closed an appropriate fee will be required before the audit letter process can begin. In such cases, the bank should return the request to the auditor with a request for the appropriate fee to be provided. It should be made clear that work will not be carried out on the request until the fee is received. The standard SLA will apply from the date the fee is received or the audit date, whichever is the later.

7.2

7.3

7.4

7.5

8.

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