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Zac Lucas, Paul Every, Alan Rowe

Review: CRS Audit Assessment Event

In this post I am reviewing a recent event on CRS Audit Assessment, held in Guernsey to mark the launch of the partnership between Centenal Legal Technology and Fusion Systems. A relationship that has been established following my introduction of these two technology companies Guernsey and Singapore.

The main purpose of the event was to provide attendees with information on how to prepare for future compliance audits with the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). In 2020, the finance sector will be subject to various changes within the regulatory regime. The Tax Authorities in jurisdictions including Jersey and Guernsey  are due to perform CRS audit inspections of financial institutions. This is a fundamental requirement of having adopted the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) CRS regime.  Jurisdictions will also implement the European Union’s framework for Mandatory Disclosure Rules on CRS Avoidance Arrangements.  

Zac Lucas addressing delegates at the CRS Assessment event in Guernsey

CRS Expert & Flyingboat TDE

The event also described how combining their solutions together, Fusion Systems and Centenal will enable financial institutions to meet these requirements comprehensively and efficiently.

Zac Lucas, founder of Centenal, said: “The CRS Audit Assessment provides a call to action for financial institutions to make sure that they have robust and fit for purpose processes and staff knowledge for managing and continuously monitoring the CRS status of accounts, account holders and entity structures together with managing and mitigating the risk associated with it. With Mandatory Disclosure requirements having a 15-30 day reporting cycle, monitoring now more than ever needs to be a real time process.”

It is this last sentence that had the most impact for me and others at this well attended event. Up to now CRS, and the related FATCA, reporting regimes have been seen as an annual event that focuses on the positions of account holders with their financial institutions as at 31 December of the relevant reporting year. The reports being made within the first 6 months of the following year. However, with the tight reporting requirements of MDRs this will require Banks, Trust Companies and other financial services providers to be more aware of the CRS impact of changes in client structures they administer as they happen.

Centenal has produced this CRS Audit Assessment Guide for use by compliance professionals preparing for their first Common Reporting Standard (CRS) Audit.

In addition to reviewing the CRS regulations Zac also provided a very brief overview of CRS Expert software and how it can be used to ease the burden of compliance. The software applies technology to test compliance objectively with artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, where previously, an audit approach would be wholly reliant on the knowledge of a person performing an audit. This is complimented by staff  education and knowledge assessment functions. By combining Fusion Systems’ Flyingboat Tax Data Exchange reporting technology with  Centenal’s CRS Compliance, they can offer businesses in the finance sector a complete  compliance solution.

Training and Workshop modules

Two unique aspect of CRS Expert are its training and workshop modules. The CRS Training module, created in partnerships with CLT International, illustrates the practical application of the CRS through unique case studies fully explained and analysed. Subscribers to the training module also get access to an interactive and practical Workshop environment offering technical guidance on the CRS reporting and self-assessment tools to test your knowledge.  This environment allows a user to model real structures and assess the CRS requirements. This makes the tool ideal for carrying out spot checks and internal audits of compliance. This could be a lifesaver when it comes to preparing for the audit assessments in each jurisdiction.

Information on the training and workshop modules, the CRS Expert software solution itself and how to engage with Zac Lucas for advisory services can all be found in the CRS Assessment Guide.

Zac Lucas

Zac Lucas has over 20 years practising law, including time advising on international regulatory law. He has also lectured extensively on CRS. As a result he has considerable expertise and experience in advising private banks, trust companies, asset managers, advisers and government authorities on the practical implementation of CRS.

“Anyone professionally involved in the fiduciary or corporate service industries must understand and apply the CRS correctly,” Lucas states, “and this means a great opportunity for us with our CRS Expert® solution. The software is designed precisely to make it dramatically easier for FIs around the world, to comply internally and externally with the many demands imposed by the CRS.”

CRS Expert’s graphical view of a trust structure

If you’d like further information on CRS Expert or would be interesting in following up directly with Zac Lucas, please use the Contact Form and we will respond as soon as possible.

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