Transitioning to Remote Audits

Are you comfortable communicating electronically with your auditors? If so, a logical next step might be to transition from on-site audit procedures to a more “remote” approach. Remote audits can help reduce the time and cost of preparing audited financial statements.
Transition to remote audits
Transition to remote audits

Are you comfortable communicating electronically with your auditors? If so, a logical next step might be to transition from on-site audit procedures to a more “remote” approach. Remote audits can help reduce the time and cost of preparing audited financial statements.

21st-century audits:

Traditionally, audit fieldwork has involved a team of auditors camping out for weeks (or even months) in one of the conference rooms at the headquarters of the company being audited. Now, thanks to technological advances — including cloud storage, smart devices, and secure data-sharing platforms — many audit firms are testing the feasibility of remote auditing as a replacement for sending auditors on-site.

In addition to saving time and audit fees, allowing auditors to work remotely improves the work-life balance for auditors and in-house accounting personnel. Your employees won’t need to stay glued to their desks for the duration of the audit, because they can respond to the auditor’s inquiries and document requests remotely.

Best practices: 

Changing the format of an audit requires flexibility, including a willingness to embrace the technology needed to facilitate the exchange, review, and analysis of relevant documents. You can facilitate the transition process by:

Being responsive to electronic requests. Auditors who are out of sight shouldn’t be out of mind. Answer all remote requests from your auditors in a timely manner. If a key employee will be on vacation or out of the office for an extended period, give the audit team the contact information for the key person’s backup.

Giving employees access to the requisite software. Sharing documents with remote auditors may require you to install specific software on employees’ computers. But your company’s policies may prohibit employees from downloading software without approval from the IT department.

Before remote auditors start “fieldwork,” ask for a list of software and platforms that will be used to interact with in-house personnel. Give the appropriate employees access and authorization to share audit-related data from your company’s systems. Work with IT specialists to address any security concerns they may have with sharing data with the remote auditors.

Tracking audit progress. With less face-to-face time with your auditors, you have fewer opportunities to receive updates on the team’s progress. Ask the engagement partner to explain how they’ll track the performance of their remote auditors, and how they plan to communicate the team’s progress to in-house accounting personnel.

The wave of the future:

Like remote working arrangements with employees and contractors, remote audits are a growing trend that could potentially reduce the costs of preparing financial statements. But not every audit firm or business is ready to embrace remote auditing. Contact us to discuss ways to make next year’s audit more efficient and cost-effective.

For more information, visit https://bgcllc.com/

 

Peter Tiffany

by: Peter Tiffany

Bradshaw, Gordon & Clinkscales, LLC

Today, we’re one of the largest accounting firms in the Upstate of South Carolina, but it hasn’t always been that way. Del Bradshaw founded our Firm in 1980. He was joined by Mike Gordon in 1982 and Roger Clinkscales in 1984. During our early years, we primarily provided accounting services to individuals and small to mid-sized businesses. Over the decades, Bradshaw, Gordon & Clinkscales has grown, adding new partners, managers and staff along the way to ensure we continue to provide the responsive, quality service for which we’ve always been known. Our growth has allowed us to expand our range of services. While small to mid-sized companies provide continue to be the bedrock of our firm, our client base now includes large companies and corporations with over $50M in revenue. Beyond Accounting: How We’re Different The reason our clients find us, choose us, and stay with us is that we don’t simply offer commodity services. We’re not just number-crunchers. We roll up our sleeves, stand beside you, and help you solve problems, big and small, so that you can grow. Our Vision, Our Mission Provide the highest quality auditing, accounting, tax, business consulting, financial litigation support and business valuation services to our clients. We are committed to promoting client prosperity, community involvement, internal harmony, staff fulfillment and quality service while expanding our client base.

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