Responder: the person or central office who is answering the auditor’s confirmation request, whether a bank, company, or even an individual benefit plan holder. A responder is simply the entity responding to the confirmation request.
In-Network Responder: This is a designation we give to responders who have gone through our rigorous validation process to join our In-Network service. Responders typically include banks, but there are lots of Fortune 1,000 companies as well. As part of the validation process, we verify that the correct contact is authorized to receive confirmation requests.
This entire process provides assurance for the auditor that the confirmation is sent to the correct person who is knowledgeable and free from bias. The other advantage of the In-Network service is that we can follow up with the responder and can track the confirmation. We know how long it has been in the queue, and the bank or company receives daily email alerts reminding to respond to their confirmation requests. This provides a higher response rate and a quicker turnaround. This is what we mean by our In-Network responders.
Out-of-Network responder: Now that you understand In-Network responders, an Out-of-Network responder is anyone that is not an In-Network responder. The main difference is Out-of-Network responders haven’t gone through our rigorous validation process. So because of that, we cannot assure that the confirmation is going to the proper contact.
In fact, you the auditor have to provide the contact information for the responder. We cannot follow up with the responder, and have no way of tracking their response. They also don’t receive an email reminding them to respond to the confirmation. The main assurance you receive from this process, is that it is across our secure and highly encrypted network, which undergoes a SOC audit twice a year, rather than a traditional email.
Want to know which banks and companies are In-Network? Check out these instructions.