Auditing remotely has become the new normal for nearly every auditor across the country. While not ideal, professions are learning to adapt to the situation we all are facing, and the auditing industry is no different. While it is easy to feel overwhelmed by having to change the processes and procedures you have become accustomed to, remote auditing should be looked at as a great opportunity to use technology as a catalyst rather than a hindrance.
Below are some tips to auditing remotely that, upon review, will hopefully result in an effective and efficient remote audit for your company.
- Plan ahead: Whether in person or remote, planning ahead is key to being successful. Making sure you and your team are aware of their responsibilities will allow everyone adequate time to prepare. Plan to meet with your financial services provider to ensure all financial documentation and transaction recorded is up to date and accurate.
- Provide support to auditors to help answer questions and provide the necessary information. Supply processes and procedures to get an understanding of your internal controls and be flexible and open to interviews and observations. Remember, auditors are not out to “get you”. It is best to keep an attitude of mutual benefit. Be open to suggestions.
- Understand that things need to be done a bit differently: All tasks that can be accomplished relatively easily if you are willing to accept that things have to be done differently to accomplish a remote audit. Auditor time previously spent commuting can now be utilized for completing audit work quicker than previously allowed.
- Stick to a schedule: With the ability to access data from anywhere, such as from a cloud-based portal, having scheduled times set to fulfill audit requests and/or answer any auditor questions will help you manage your audit duties, in addition to your own job obligations.
- Assign tasks to staff: Having all involved aware of what they are tasked to complete, in addition to having set appointments with auditors, should largely result in both sides prioritizing one another due to being on the same page.
- Consider technology: If network connections are not very reliable, interviews and meetings can be interrupted, and it may take some time to reconnect and solve all the network problems. Access to relevant databases and systems should also be considered to ensure tangible and objective evidence is available to provide to the auditors. During the coronavirus pandemic and just in general, more and more of our day-to-day lives are becoming technology-driven. This provides a great opportunity to begin moving antiquated financial systems and processes to a cloud-based environment. We recommend conducting audits remotely as (unless necessary) physical audits can lead to wasted time and efforts on both sides. While we don’t believe that the current work environment during this pandemic will result in all audits being done completely remote in the future, this provides opportunities to rethink audit approaches and processes. Please call us for assistance with your audit!
Trust the Professionals at Goldin Group
At Goldin Group LLC, we understand that as a business owner or non-profit manager, keeping up with accounting and taxes is time-consuming and can even be overwhelming. We can help you with non-profit audits, all of your small business write-offs and tax preparation, and much more! We work with individuals and businesses in Maryland (DC Metro Area), offering a variety of financial services designed to save you time and lower your tax burden. If you are a business that is looking to outsource your accounting or if you need help managing any aspect of your business’s or nonprofit’s finances, we want to hear from you. Call us at (301) 913-0008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.