How to Prepare for an Efficient and Effective Annual Year-End Audit
Sep 23, 2019 | By John Siegel
Corporate accounting teams often see the annual audit as an unwelcome distraction. Staff struggle to assist auditors while also fulfilling their day-to-day job duties, dealing with regulatory changes, implementing new technologies and more.
In an effort to improve the year-end close and annual audit season for both the organization and its external auditors, we spoke to innovative controllers and auditors to get their advice on making the annual audit less stressful for everyone involved and to keep the auditors out of the conference room.
We’ve compiled the lessons learned from these conversations into a relevant and timely whitepaper:
In this white paper, we delve into the four core elements of the month-end close and annual audit: People, Process, Documents, and Reconciliations.
Communication is key
In an audit, the organization’s corporate accounting team and external auditors must work collaboratively to get the job done. Focusing on effective communication – not just during the annual audit, but throughout the year – will lead to a smoother experience.
Timing and technology matter
Both the client and auditor need to be aware of expectations and deadlines to keep the project on course. Technology can help the month-end close process and subsequent audit, but it’s not a replacement for effective processes.
Documentation must be shareable and secure.
Successful annual audits require accurate and accessible documentation. Sharing documents manually or as email attachments is quickly becoming obsolete. Cloud-based technologies that enhance collaboration can shorten overall audit time and reduce complexity.
Standardize the reconciliation process.
Reconciliations that don’t tie to the trial balance cause delays and additional work for the client and auditors. Make sure everyone is working in a similar manner and using familiar, widely accepted tools.
The audit doesn’t have to be an ordeal. Download the whitepaper to learn more about how to eliminate pain points and ensure your internal accounting staff and outside auditors work together efficiently and effectively.