Ideas for Remote Auditing

July 16, 2020
By: Kelli Jones

Clients have been asking whether our audit teams will still be able to come on-site for our audit fieldwork. This is a question that we have all been asking ourselves as we juggle to find a balance regarding a state’s COVID-19 restrictions, size, and capability of social distancing at each location, as well as the individual health of all involved. While we would like to continue to work on-site where possible, it is difficult to know how things will progress in the coming months and into the future.

So if you have to have a remote audit performed, what can you do to try to make this remote audit as efficient as an on-site audit?

Here are a few ideas to consider:

Start Preparing Early

Each year the auditors provide a list of schedules and documents that they will need. This list is generally similar from year to year. Start preparing and compiling these schedules early so that they are all completed by the time the auditors are ready to begin testing.

Another area to consider preparing is electronic audit documentation. If your audit documentation is not kept in electronic form, you may want to start scanning documentation that is routinely needed for the audit. A good place to start would be to scan documentation related to large capital asset purchases or capital projects that the auditors would typically review, grant-related expenditures, and significant invoices in accounts payable at year-end. If you would like a more detailed list, send your auditor a preliminary general ledger so they can make selections and send you documentation requests ahead of time.

Use Technology

Just because the auditors are not in-person does not mean all communication has to be through email. You may want to consider using ZOOM, Microsoft Teams, or another platform to share screens and hold discussions. Being able to see what each person is looking at is a great benefit to in-person auditing as well as remote auditing.

Don’t Be Afraid to Communicate

We understand that a remote audit can be frustrating. If you are feeling overwhelmed with the number of audit requests/emails you are receiving, please don’t be afraid to say something. It might be easier to ask what the top three priorities are for the day and start from there.

As auditors at HintonBurdick, we want to make the audit process as easy as possible.  Communication is a key element in working through the audit process smoothly. At HintonBurdick, we commit to doing our best to help make remote auditing a good experience for all involved.

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