Best Practices for an Effective Financial Audit
Audits are a great way to receive constructive solutions that improve processes and identify risks at your organization. However, to ensure your next audit goes as smoothly as possible and leaves everyone involved feeling satisfied and confident in the next steps that need to be taken, there are best practices that can ensure you are prepared.
Take a look at our top tips to ensure a successful audit that will make it easier to achieve your audit goals and objectives.
Reconcile Accounts and Prepare a Trial Balance
The audit process begins before the initial in-person meeting. A good first step is closing and reconciling all accounts, as this prevents balance sheet errors and allows auditors to check for possible fraud. Preparing a trial balance before the audit is also recommended, as this ensures that entries in a company’s bookkeeping system are mathematically correct and there are no errors. Once that is confirmed, more complex audit procedures and analysis can begin. If your organization has been through the auditing process before, it could also be helpful to disclose past audit findings to your new auditor so they have more insight into issues affecting your organization.
Create a Schedule and Stick to a Realistic Timetable
If you have found that audits for your organization have a trend of becoming a lengthier project than anticipated, then it’s time to develop a realistic audit timetable. The timetable should allocate time towards the planning phase, risk assessment, audit procedures, evaluating financial records and statements, and reporting. However, this could vary depending on the objectives of your organization. Setting up a shared calendar that includes both auditor and your team is a convenient way to ensure more accountability from your team, and is also more secure than exchanging confidential information through back and forth emails.
Don’t Be Afraid of Innovative Technology
Advanced technology is being used to transform many areas of the finance and accounting industries, and that applies to audits as well. Certain technologies help the auditing process become more streamlined, efficient and cost-effective. Analytics, in particular, help auditors better understand processes and data flow, create better audit recommendations and enhance an audit’s value proposition to your organization. So if you haven’t used technology to transform your audit process, the time is now! Asking your auditor if they use certain software or technologies throughout the process could be an indicator of capability and if they are a good fit for your organization. We recommend this article from RSM to learn how automation, analytics, AI and other innovative technology can improve the audit experience.
With these best practices, an effective, positive auditing experience is on the horizon! Remember that our team has experience with numerous non-profit and government agencies, so if your organization falls into either of those categories, we have the skills required to ensure you meet all audit rules and regulations. We also have experience conducting many types of audits, so whatever type of audit is needed, we can perform at the highest level.
Contact Us Today – Let’s work together to make sure your next audit runs as smoothly as possible!