Why is audit planning important? The most obvious reason is you want a positive outcome for your audit opinion, and a proactive approach can put you ahead of potential issues. But you also want to get through the entire process unscathed, with employee morale to continue at a strong level and not get bogged down by a longer-than-necessary audit. Even more than that, you want to ensure that your audit doesn’t interfere with your company’s ability to meet its financing and compliance obligations.
Lack of audit expertise, limited resources and accounting records that are not “audit ready” can all interfere with the process. Audit readiness experts anticipate the trouble spots and meet them head on, with insights, ideas and solutions for getting at the information that will meet auditors’ expectations.
Are your journal entries in order? Do you have technical memos to support the decisions made for significant, complex or unusual transactions? Are your accounting policies documented, or are inconsistencies in accounting for similar transactions an issue? The auditors are going to find these things, and it’s a timesaver—and potential cost saver—if they can be uncovered and addressed beforehand.
What if you don’t make the most of audit support services before the audit? There’s the risk of inefficiency creeping in as an audit continues to take up time—the original external audit team may move on to other clients, and you’ll be stuck having to ramp up new members of the team to how your company operates.
Avoid the disruption and minimize the surprises (there are usually some but many are avoidable) by getting audit support or having your audit support services team lead the entire effort.