An audit process can be time-consuming and daunting for any finance team. However, planning and preparation can make a significant difference in the smoothness and speed of the audit process. To ensure an efficient audit process, follow our best practices.
Plan and anticipate auditor requests:
- Familiarise yourself with the different stages of the audit process, including planning, testing, interim, and concluding stages.
- Request a detailed request list from the auditors, ideally to a disaggregated level of detail with a date that the request is due.
- Create a timeline and assign responsibilities to team members for each stage of the audit process.
- Utilise a file-sharing tool, to effectively communicate and share documents with auditors, reducing the risk of emails getting lost and facilitating back-and-forth communication.
Organise and maintain accurate records:
- Ensure that all support documents and audit trails are complete, accurate, and up-to-date. Ensure that important documents are not left in email inboxes.
- Use descriptive and searchable labels such as "Inv-1293 - 23/10/23", for documents to make it easy to find and retrieve them during the audit process.
- Take advantage of the prior year data, if available, to provide a template for the current year and avoid repetitive requests from auditors for the same documents.
Follow best practices for remote access:
- Enable remote access to key platforms such as NetSuite for auditors, through read-only access if possible, to allow them to retrieve invoices and other documents themselves.
- Ensure that all members of the finance team adhere to the protocols for storing and accessing documents to maintain consistency and avoid creating turbulence in the audit process.
Proactively communicate with auditors:
- Establish open and proactive communication channels with auditors through your shared communication platform that can track and record all communication, which can then be visible to the rest of the team.
- Respond promptly to inquiries from auditors and provide clear and concise explanations for any discrepancies or issues identified.
- Keep auditors updated on the progress of the audit and provide any requested documents in a timely manner.
- If you feel that the auditor is not responding in a timely manner and you are falling behind, don't hesitate to remind them and request more frequent meetings to ensure that the audit stays on track.
Address any issues or discrepancies promptly:
- Identify and address any discrepancies or issues identified during the audit process.
- Work closely with auditors to resolve any questions or concerns they may have.
- Keep thorough documentation of any actions taken to address audit findings.
Review and finalise audit results:
- Review the audit findings with the auditors to ensure that all issues have been addressed.
- Make any necessary adjustments or corrections based on audit recommendations.
- Obtain final sign-off from auditors and complete any required documentation.
How can Workiro help
Establish the groundwork
By using Workiro in conjunction with NetSuite as your content management solution, you can establish a strong foundation for efficient request management, including request accountability, transparent and traceable actions, and effective communication.
Setup for success
- Invite your auditing team to join your Workiro and NetSuite accounts. It's free for them to access Workiro, so there's no need to pay for additional or temporary licenses.
- Create a project specifically for conducting the audit, such as "Audit 2023." Add a description to explain what the project is about and invite the finance team and all external auditors as members. This will ensure that all relevant parties have access to necessary documents and can communicate effectively throughout the audit process.
- Within the project, you can now start adding your tasks. These could be built around the audit tests. This provides a structure that both the audit team and your finance team can use to keep all information and conversation around those topics together in one secure, accessible location.
Enhancing Team Visibility
- You can now begin sharing all the requested information, assigning relevant team members to each task and setting due dates to ensure clear expectations for everyone involved. Any documents or comments added to this thread will be updated in real-time for participants to review without delay.
- Create a dedicated task to manage your request list and provide both teams with access to it. This will ensure that they are immediately notified of any new versions to work with, without the risk of the list getting lost in email threads. By doing so, you can guarantee that everyone is always working on the latest version.
Optimising Response Times
- Follow up on information requests as soon as they are submitted, and surface the information requested without leaving the platform. To find a specific document, locate the company record in NetSuite, access the documents tab from the Workiro window and create a new thread with your auditor.
- Do you need a quick way to review all tasks assigned to you? In one smart view, you can drill down to see which tasks require your attention, filter tasks by relevant tags related to the audit, and view the most pressing tasks using the 'upcoming' filter.
Plan for next year.
Workiro stores previous audits, which can be used to create templates for subsequent years. This helps to create a plan and provides insights for new team members. Auditors will find this feature particularly useful if they need to reference information from previous years.
Looking for a solution to your audit headaches, give Workiro a try. Request your personalised demo today.
Book a Discovery Call
Want to find out more about how Workiro works? Book a zoom-based discovery call with one of our experts who’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have, to ensure Workiro is the right fit for your business needs.