10 Tips for an Efficient Audit– February 05, 2016 by Jami Blake

It’s that time of year to consider what will make your audit go as efficiently and painlessly as possible. Below are a few tips from our audit team.

1. Check with your client service team if you have not received a request list of information that will be needed and a timeline for completing such requests.

2. Make sure the dates are realistic for you and that you understand the schedules needed. Communicate any concerns about the request list or deadlines to your team.

3. Prior to fieldwork, identify and discuss with your auditors any changes, new transactions and significant events that occurred during the year.

4. Make sure all significant accounts have been reconciled and analyzed, any adjustments identified and all requested information prepared.

5. Ensure books are closed and the final trial balance is prepared with all adjusting entries posted prior to the audit start date.

6. Communicate with your auditors regarding how you prefer to handle open items, follow-up requests, etc.

7. Schedule available time for when auditors are onsite. We will need to make additional requests and ask additional questions during fieldwork.

8. Communicate expectations as to timing of draft financials, including any meetings you need the auditor to attend, or bank or other financial-statement-user deadlines.

9. Throughout the audit process, communicate any requests you have for improvements on your auditor’s end.

10. Any changes to deadlines should be communicated as soon as possible, and consider the turnaround time necessary for review.

Meeting deadlines is an important part of the audit process. But producing a quality product is just as important to us. We strive to exceed our own high standards when it comes to quality as well as those defined by the AICPA, Ohio Accountancy Board and users of the financial statements. To maintain that level of quality, we employ a rigorous process that includes multiple levels of review, from the staff and manager assigned to fieldwork through the technical partner who remains separate from the main engagement team and provides a final objective review to ensure the report is technically accurate. All significant changes made during the process must run through the entire approval process before draft documents can be released to the client. Please communicate draft deadlines so we can schedule our engagement to both meet your required deadlines and our robust internal quality control standards.

We want to hear from you! We encourage you to comment below on this blog post, share it on social media, or contact Jami Blake at jblake@cohencpa.comor a member of your service team for further discussion.