There’s no denying that preparation is the key to a successful audit. By taking the time to prepare for your upcoming audit, you can avoid a great deal of stress and headaches down the road. In addition, you’ll feel more confident during the process, reduce the risk of unwanted surprises, and save money. Here are several of our top tips for preparing for a smooth audit.
Inform Your Organization
It’s your job to tell your organization about the audit so they know that it’s a priority for the finance and accounting team. If your employees are aware of it, they’ll be less likely to fill your time with other projects. It can be difficult to prepare for an audit when you’re constantly being pulled in a million different directions.
Communicate with Auditors
Don’t be afraid to communicate with your auditors early and often. If you have any questions, ask them. Remember that the auditors serve as resources for your organization. They won’t have any problems answering questions about how they’ll perform their risk assessment and what they’re audit strategy involves. The more you know, the better you can prepare.
Perform Reconciliations on a Regular Basis
Many organizations make the mistake of performing reconciliations at the end of the year. If you take care of them on a monthly or quarterly basis, you’ll be more likely to pinpoint and resolve reconciliation issues early on.
Waiting until the end of the year may not give you enough time to correct the issues before the audit. Plus, you may be left with the compounded effect of many reconciling items that will exacerbate the situation.
Learn From Previous Audits
Unless this is your first audit, it’s a good idea to consider what happened during previous audits. This way you can remind yourself of the issues that arose and ensure they won’t be repeated. You can also get an idea of what went well and where you can improve. Look at every audit you’ve had as a learning opportunity that you use to your advantage.
Assign Audit Tasks Appropriately
Before your audit, you should receive a list of schedules and workpapers that auditors will look at. Rather than trying to collect all of the items on your own, ask the right employees to help. Each employee should know what they’re assigned and when their assignment is due. Prioritize the most time-consuming or complex areas first. Also, ensure you give yourself enough time to review all the workpapers and schedules so you can correct them if necessary.
Ensure Key Players are Available
It is in your best interest to make that you and other important employees are completely available during the audit process. The auditors may ask for supporting documents and explanations so you need to have the right people at your disposal to accommodate them. Host status meetings so that everyone is on the same page and knows what needs to be done.
As long as you’re proactive about your upcoming audit, you can enjoy a seamless process that benefits your organization. Need help easing the burden of an audit? Contact us today for more information.