Most companies have an annual audit performed to comply with banking and investment requirements. For most calendar year-end companies, the annual audits are currently underway. There are several steps that management can do in order to ensure the process goes smoothly.
- Prepare and be proactive – Have items from the client assistance package ready for the first day of fieldwork. Have the trial balance completed prior to the engagement team arriving for fieldwork. If you anticipate having journal entries, notify your engagement team as soon as you identify them.
- Suggest alternatives – You know your company better than anyone. If you feel there is a more efficient method of providing information or analyzing it, suggest it to your audit team. There may be reports your auditor can use to accomplish the objective but we may not be aware of their existence. Your audit team is there to complete an audit with the least amount of disruption to you, your staff, and your job responsibilities. Suggestions are always welcome.
- Communicate –Have daily status meetings with your auditor to discuss the areas the engagement team is working on and if there have been any problems. Management and the engagement team want to mitigate surprises that could result in delays. If you cannot deliver a requested item by the target date, notify your engagement team so they can adjust their schedules accordingly.
- Set realistic timelines –Notify your auditor as early as possible if your financial statement deadline has changed so your auditor can adjust the time line and meet the deadline. Also, work with your auditor around pending vacations or time-off for employees who are critical to the audit.
- Ask questions – If your engagement team suggests a journal entry or makes recommendations, ask what circumstances lead to the journal entry or recommendation. Talk through each of these items and situations with your engagement team to ensure both sides are in agreement with the entry and recommendations.
By keeping these five suggestions in mind as you are preparing for and completing your audit, your audit can be completed in an efficient and effective manner.
If you'd like more information on how Schneider Downs can help you prepare for your audit, contact us.