By Dr. Jason McClain | December 4, 2016 | 0 Comment
A business audit isn’t really something we relish talking about, but it’s a necessary part of doing business. It’s important for your checks and balances to check out and balance at the end of the year, or your business plans for the new year could get moved to the back burner. This article will help you prepare for your business audit and provide you some steps to get through it smoothly. Business audits are what propels business forward through change and growth, so with the necessity comes many positive aspects.
Tips to Prepare for a Business Audit
One of the keys to a smooth end-of-year audit is planning for it all year. Be meticulous in your accounting because you know that audit is coming. These tips should also help you prepare for your business audit:
- Make sure your employees are prepared. It’s not a bad idea to have a checklist for all employees involved in the audit to refer to. Make sure business operations among employees not involved in the audit are performed in such a way as not to negatively affect the audit.
- Gather all the needed documents. Double check everything. If your business relies on spreadsheets, get several sets of eyeballs checking the data.
- Create a timeline. You should have a general idea of when your audit will occur and what information will be included. Lay out this information according to your timeline.
- Stay relevant. If it’s not a relevant consideration for the audit, ignore it for now. This will save you and the auditor both a lot of time.
- Be meticulously organized. If it seems like you’re going over the top to organize for your end-of-year audit, that’s just about perfect! Go above and beyond, and you will thank yourself later.
- Keep your first-quarter review in mind. Your end-of-year audit may affect your first quarter review for the following year, so just be mindful that you may have to revise the schedule for that.
- Don’t fear change. If your business is one that is relying heavily on spreadsheets, it’s time to abandon outdated accounting methods and embrace innovation. Consider one of the many options available that makes data entry and audits much easier!
5 Steps to a Successful Business Audit
Now that you’re prepared, let’s get to it.
- Assess any changes. Did you organization go through any major changes this year? Did you start something new or receive new investors? Be sure to communicate these to the auditor.
- Learn from the past. Were there problems with last year’s audit? You shouldn’t find yourself experiencing those same problems this year.
- Ask questions. If anything at all is unclear during the audit, do not hesitate to ask the auditor questions. Auditors are usually happy to answer. Also, be ready to question the people within your company to clarify any information during the audit.
- Be present during fieldwork. There will a period of time while the auditor gathers additional paperwork and information. Be available and make sure no key personnel are off during this time.
- Evaluate the results. Once the fieldwork is complete, be ready to provide any missing information while the audit report is being prepared.
Auditing your business isn’t fun, but it doesn’t have to be a chore either. The more you prepare yourself and your people, the better things will go. Understand that end-of-year audits are necessary for business growth and prosperity. Your business audit is the time to assess your business and decide what changes you will make to stimulate growth over the next year. You should expect each audit to get easier as time goes on.