Operational Analytics and Computer Assisted Verification

This factsheet outlines how we will use Computer Assisted Verification (CAV) techniques during our audit and investigation activities.

If you maintain electronic financial records, we will consider the use of CAV techniques to analyse these records when conducting audits and investigations. These techniques will not be appropriate in every case.

What are the benefits of CAV?

The benefits of using CAV when conducting audits and investigations include:

  • cheaper and more efficient to provide information electronically
  • fewer requests to supply paper copies of transactions and reports
  • reduces the time Revenue NSW investigators spend on your premises, minimising disruption to your regular business activities.

An Revenue NSW investigator skilled in CAV techniques will be able to analyse your electronic information more efficiently, accurately and thoroughly than through traditional manual processes.

The CAV process – how does it work?

Accessing your records

Using formal access powers, we are permitted to copy documents required for the purposes of the Acts it administers. ‘Documents’ include electronically stored information.

We will usually seek access to your information through a cooperative approach, consulting with you on the records required.

Supplying electronic information

When we identify a need for electronic information to be provided, an Revenue NSW investigator will schedule a meeting with you to understand the:

  • accounting system(s) you use
  • format and extent of electronic records available
  • electronic records required
  • documentation available to assist in our analysis, e.g. your chart of accounts, reference tables and/or data dictionary.

Your tax adviser and/or information technology specialists are welcome to attend this meeting.

We will request that you download a copy of the agreed electronic information from your system to a virus-free CD, DVD, or other agreed medium. We can provide blank disks for this purpose if requested.

We recommend you keep a copy of the electronic information you supply to us for your own records. We will also provide a letter confirming receipt of the requested information.

Data review and analysis

We use specialised CAV software to verify that the electronic information you provide is accurate and complete. We then conduct a series of tests on your data to ensure you comply with the relevant tax laws. Tests conducted depend upon the nature of the audit or investigation being undertaken.

Our CAV software will read the electronic information provided but does not allow any changes to be made to the data you have supplied.

There is no risk to your computer system

The CAV process involves you downloading a copy of the required electronic information. Revenue NSW investigators will not operate your computer system.

What happens when the audit or investigation is completed?

The original electronic information will be stored securely as part of a case file kept as a record of the audit or investigation.

Your information is secure

Electronic and paper records you provide for the audit or investigation are protected by law.

Your information is maintained in accordance with:

  • confidentiality provisions contained in the Taxation Administration Act 1996 and/or First Home Owner Grant Act 2000
  • Information Privacy Principles (for personal information) contained in the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.

Read more information on privacy.

Your rights

The Taxation Administration Act 1996 and other legislation administered by us permits our investigators to:

  • gain access to buildings and property
  • inspect, examine, copy and seize books, documents or records
  • require you to answer questions and provide information
  • require you to give reasonable assistance.

We aim to provide an environment where you and the investigator can work together with mutual understanding and cooperation. With this in mind, we have a framework in place which outlines your rights and obligations and the level of service you will receive when dealing with us.

Before an investigation, you have the right to:

  • ask for reasonable time to produce your records
  • negotiate an appropriate time and place for the initial interview with the investigator
  • receive written confirmation of the investigation arrangements.

During an investigation, you can:

  • expect the investigator to be professional and courteous
  • see the Investigating Officer’s identification authority
  • involve your accountant, legal or other representative in the process
  • ask how long the investigation will take
  • expect your affairs to be treated with strict confidentiality
  • obtain a receipt for records or other material the investigator removes from your office
  • be given the opportunity to explain the reasons for any irregularities or discrepancies.

After an investigation, you can:

  • expect to receive an explanation of the results or findings
  • ask the investigator how penalty provisions are to be applied
  • ask for advice about the objections and appeal process
  • discuss any aspect of the case with the investigator or case manager.

Your obligations during an investigation are to:

  • give the investigator reasonable assistance and facilities
  • give complete and honest answers and explanations to any questions
  • provide prompt, full and free access to all relevant information, records, documents, data and systems as required.

At the completion of the investigation, you also have a statutory right to:

  • expect your affairs to be continue to be treated with strict confidentiality
  • records provided to be securely stored
  • object and/or appeal to the ultimate decision of the Chief Commissioner.

Note: As the provisions of the revenue legislation administered by us determine how the legislation applies to you, the information provided is not intended to be exhaustive.

For more information about CAV, contact us.

Calling from a mobile? Call 02 9761 4963
Or phone 1800 806 592*
8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday

Last updated: 30 July 2017