prepare for an auditHow to prepare for an audit

There are certain things you need in order to prepare for an audit to ensure it is successful and takes as little time as possible. The aims of an audit are to pin point parts of the business and the way it runs that can be improved. The first thing that makes for a successful audit is cooperation of all the staff and management so that the auditor can get the job completed as efficiently as possible so that things can return to normal as soon as possible.

Assign responsibility

It is important that responsibility for all for making the system put in place is shared out and that clear instructions are given. Ensure all given the responsibility are aware of who is responsible for each task given so that they can work together successfully. The responsibility of anything that goes wrong lies with those in management positions not the auditor. They are able to help you identify problems and make suggestions but it is the companies job to put things right.

Make old audit reports available

If you have received an audit in the past by the Office of Internal Audit you should look over old reports to ensure you have met any suggestions that were made before the new audit takes place. Part of the audit process is to see how things have changed since the last one, if there have been no attempts to put things right it looks bad on the business and their willingness to improve things. If there have been any other inspections such as health inspection, safety etc. you should make the auditor aware of them.

Make sure you have information available regarding each unit’s background and current information to allow the auditor to have a good understanding of how the company works, especially if the person auditing has not visited before. Have a strategic plan in place so that they can see where you have identified changes that need to be made, and of course what you are going to do to make these changes happen as soon as possible. Have any charts or information regarding finances, procedures and a sample of your management report to hand. If this information is kept on a company website make sure the link is available to the auditor.

Create a working space for the auditor

Ensure the auditor has somewhere they can work close to the office staff and information they need to look over. It will need to have a good amount of lighting and be comfortable enough for them to stay the duration which could be a matter of days or weeks depending on the size of your establishment and records. Although auditors will try as much as they can to work from their own offices they will need to be present in yours too some of the time to get the information they need without it having to leave the building. Ensure you have a person you can contact other than the auditor in case something arises that you don’t understand and need further clarification of or if you need to make a complaint.

Ensure the auditor has access to the records of employees. The access needs to be unrestricted so that they can make a full report. It is actually a legal requirement that you comply so make provisions if necessary. Be prepared to explain the job of each employee if necessary and how they facilitate the running of your company. It may seem obvious to you, but an auditor may need clarification. Be prepared for the auditor to copy documents, even restricted ones. They are bound by law to keep the documents safe so you don’t need to worry about the company security.

Inform staff of an upcoming audit

Make sure that staff are aware that an audit is going to take place. A letter is usually issued that you can copy to distribute to staff so they know what an audit entails and what may be expected of them. This will help to ensure they have any documentation that needs to be seen to hand to save time.

QuickBooks can help see you through an audit….

Modern QuickBook Features

You can now use QuickBooks online known as QBO for short. Rather than paying for the software customers pay a subscription fee each month which allows them to logon securely with their web browser. The software is updated automatically which saves on time and the information can only be accessed by those given the login details which have improved the security and worry of loss and embezzlement. In the past it was only supported by Windows Explorer, but you can now use it with Firefox, Safari and Google. To keep up with the times you can even access the online version using your handheld device on the move. The online version doesn’t give you all of the same features and some of the online features do differ.

QuickBooks 2014

The latest version of Quickbooks is available in online and offline versions, you can still link the software bought up front to the internet but the online version only requires a subscription fee to be paid on a monthly basis. The features of it include being able to send multiple attachments and change your email templates so that they include information of the customer, job or service and any other important details. You can even look at previous conversations via email.

Customers who use more than one bank account are able to see all of this information in one place to make it easier to categorize. You can see the payments you have received for goods or service and see in seconds who has not yet paid their account up to date. Because a business income can come from all over the place and from hundreds, if not thousands of customers you are able to use the income tracker and send overdue invoices in one go to remind customers of their unpaid accounts. Bounced checks also show so you do not need to look over these separately making it easier to keep track of your incomings and outgoings.

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