For anyone who owns their own business or is employed in a senior managerial position within an organisation, the prospect of an annual independent audit is always there. Although it can seem like a time-consuming process, it is actually vital to your company’s continued success. Not only will it allow you to show that your business is operating in the correct manner, but it will also allow you to pick up on any issues that need dealing with, before they become a problem.
Anyone who has been involved in an independent company audit before will know that the long list of demands that auditors may give you is always challenging. With no way of knowing what they will ask to look at, you have to be prepared for everything. Much of this work can be done before they arrive so that you are ready with all the information that they need.
Take the time to prepare in advance
If you are getting ready for a visit from the auditors, here are a few things that you can do to make it easier on your company:
- Think about any potential issues – a great tip to begin with is to try to get ahead of any potential issues that you think will need to be explained. For financial organisations that offer loans, for example, PPI claims could be an issue that you are dealing with and might crop up. Many people are looking at how to claim PPI now, and it is one area that the auditors may want to look at within your accounts or finances.
- Reconcile your accounts through the year – many businesses make the mistake of leaving it until the end of the year to perform the financial reconciliations that the auditors will then need to do their job. The issue here is that it is then a large task to get it all ready in time! Instead, try to reconcile your accounts on a monthly or quarterly basis.
- Make sure that you have planned for it – it is likely that you will have enough notice of your business audit to plan well for it. Make sure that all the key staff who you need are in and that all the paperwork and computer files that you hold are up to date. This will make it much easier to comply with the requests that the auditors make.
- Review the previous audit – naturally, it is a good idea to review your last audit. This will enable you to make sure that any actions or recommendations have been put into place to see which areas you maybe fell short of in the past.
Prepare to succeed
As with anything in business, the real secret to a successful company audit is the planning. Although you will, of course, not know what the auditors will ask to see until they arrive, making sure that all your documents are in order will certainly help. This will not only make it easier for your staff but will also ensure that the whole audit process goes smoothly.