How to Adequately Prepare for an Audit
Do you find the audit process to be a downright burden? Businesses and entities often find themselves unprepared for an audit. Here are some tips on how to prepare for an audit.
Remember, the results of the audit are your responsibility. As such, you should be preparing all year long, not just during audit season. Here are a few audit-focused questions that you should ask yourself throughout the year:
Your Relationship with your Auditor
How is your relationship with your auditor? Are you able to reach out to him/her with questions or concerns? Contact your auditor to determine how an issue might affect your business. Be proactive.
Make sure you're keeping in touch with your auditor during the off-season and communicating any "hot topic" issues so that your auditor can properly prepare for the situation, and potentially help you avoid management comments or findings. Use your auditor as an ally, not an adversary.
Work with your auditor to determine an appropriate timetable so that both parties are on the same page. An effective timetable nails down what and when reports and schedules are due and lays out expectations for both your business and your auditor.
A timetable is only effective if all parties involved in the audit process are aware of and committed to the due dates. Make sure to communicate the timetable throughout your organization to reduce surprises, and then, stick to it. In addition, get your auditor's request list well in advance of the audit, even if you have to chase them down!
For many businesses, an audit is inevitable and inconvenient. However, with preparation, you could reduce the burden on your business, drastically reduce the duration of the audit and sustain the relationship with your auditor.