The term “audit” is often intimidating, especially when you are going through the process for the first time. However, if you work closely with your auditor and plan ahead, the process can be smooth and non-intrusive.
Steps to prepare for your audit:
1. Set out a realistic schedule
When you are preparing for your first audit you need to set out a realistic schedule. The process does require a time commitment, especially in the first year. You will need to set aside time for pre-work, which will include the preparation of the documents that the auditor has requested. Next, you will need to be available for the auditor’s questions during their field work. Finally, there will be additional follow-up questions and meetings. Being aware of the time commitment and setting up a schedule will help with making the process run smoothly.
2. Have a pre-audit meeting with the auditor
Pre-audit meetings are crucial to allow the auditor to fully understand the business, including the policies and procedures that are in place. This meeting is also a great time to sit down and go over the required documents to ensure that you are aware of what the auditor is looking for. Finally, this meeting provides an opportunity to outline everyone’s expectations to ensure that all parties are on the same page.
3. During the field work
In order to have your fieldwork over with quickly, it is best to have the requested documents prepared in advance, and available prior to the auditor’s arrival. This avoids any inefficiencies of having to wait for requested documents. During the fieldwork you will also need to be available for any questions that the auditor may have. Assuming that the documents are prepared this shouldn’t be too time consuming.
4. Ask questions
As auditors we are aware that this is your first time being audited and available to answer any questions. If you have questions be sure to ask, we are here to help.
A first-time audit can be very frightening, however if you are aware of process and expectation it can be non-intrusive and over before you know it!