Six Tips for a More Efficient Audit
Angela Lawrence, Quality Control Coordinator at Klatzkin, contributed to this post.
Audits are a necessary but sometimes disruptive part of running your business or nonprofit organization. Meeting with your auditor, gathering documents, and scheduling time for the auditor to do their fieldwork all have to be considered. Here are some tips to help make your audit more efficient, saving everyone time, money, and stress.
- Start planning early. You don’t need to wait until after your year-end to start communicating with your auditor. Set a meeting to go over any new or significant changes since the previous year, such as new significant debts, acquisition or disposal of assets, new funding sources, or changes in your accounting system.
- Keep deadlines in mind. Do you have to report to a governmental agency by a certain date, or will you need your financial statements for an upcoming board meeting? Use these firm deadlines to create a realistic schedule with your auditor for the work that needs to get done.
- Take a close look at the calendar when scheduling the audit team for fieldwork. When will key employees be on vacation? Does your company or nonprofit have any internal deadlines, such as an upcoming event or special project, that you should work around? It’s helpful to work with the auditors as much as possible when they’re on-site; having key employees available for answering questions will make the best use of the auditor’s time in your office and may even minimize the time they need to be there.
- Prepare your office for the auditor’s fieldwork. If possible, make sure there is a clear space, such as a conference room, ready to work in when they arrive. Let them know ahead of time of any internet connectivity issues.
- Review the items-needed list before the audit team arrives. If you have questions, it’s better to get things ironed out before they walk in the door. Gather as many documents as you can and provide them to the auditor in advance so they can review them and prepare follow-up questions or requests. Many auditors now offer ways to transmit your documents electronically, saving time and money.
- Finalize your numbers. If your trial balance keeps changing, the auditor has to then take the time to redo their work. Although obviously, sometimes adjustments are necessary after the fact, try to ensure that your books are in the best possible condition when the auditors begin their work; it will help streamline the entire process.
If you have questions about the information outlined above or need assistance with an audit-related issue, Klatzkin can help. For additional information, click here to contact us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.
©2021 Klatzkin & Company LLP. The above represents our best understanding and interpretation of the material covered as of this post’s date and does not constitute accounting, tax, or financial advice. Please consult your advisor concerning your specific situation.