Four Tips That Will Help You Prepare for an Audit
The only thing worse than doing your taxes at the end of the year is preparing for an audit. Especially if the outcome of the audit will drastically affect how you continue to run your business.
It’s easy just to close your eyes, so to speak, and wait until it’s all over. But, it’s much better to go into the audit as prepared as possible.
Here are four tips that will help you prepare for your audit, and hopefully, put your mind at ease while it is taking place.
Know Current Accounting Standards
It is extremely important to be familiar with current auditing standards, especially if you’re conducting a certain kind of audit. For example, a SOX compliance audit will look a lot different than a SOC audit, even though they appear the same on the surface.
Contacting various agencies can be very helpful, as can hiring a professional auditor, but few things are more helpful than compliance software like the kind offered by Reciprocity Labs.
The makers of the software make it their job to know and understand all the latest accounting and auditing standards. They are automatically included in the software so you don’t have worry if the right information is being stored the right way.
Develop a Plan
Once you understand what your audit is going to entail, it’s important to develop a plan. That means collecting the necessary documents and information, or knowing where to locate all those documents and information, before the audit begins.
You may need to lighten your work load during the audit so you can ensure you're available during the fieldwork portion of the process.
In addition, you should develop clear expectations for yourself and your team to minimize frustration, and make sure the lines of communication are open between you, your employees, and auditors throughout the process.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Audits aren't known for being full of riveting information. It's easy for your eyes to gloss over as the auditor explains their findings.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you aren't sure about a piece of information that is being requested, ask. Don't be afraid to discuss delays, and ask any questions about the process or the findings as they arise.
Evaluate Results and Plan for the Future
Although you may be tempted to breathe a sigh of relief and stuff the results of the audit deep down in a desk drawer, you really need to go over the information that was uncovered.
There are many aspects of planning for the future, but you have no greater tool than the results of an audit. Review the findings with the auditor and your employees, solicit feedback, and decide how those findings are going to steer your business operations through the upcoming year.
The more control you have over the auditing process, the more at ease you’ll feel. Follow these tips and you can help your audit go as smoothly as possible.