Going through an audit, even if your company's books are in order, takes time. There are ways, however, to make the audit process smoother so that it doesn't interfere with your day-to-day work. If your company has an upcoming audit, used these audit preparation tips to help make the audit as easy as possible.
Pull All Required Information Ahead of Time
The auditors will need access to information in lots of documents. They might send you a list when your company's audit is scheduled that details all of the documents they'll have to access. If they don't, you can ask for one.
Collecting all of these documents will take time, but you can ensure that it doesn't interfere with other tasks by pulling files before the audit begins. You can fetch papers and look up electronic records at a time that's convenient for you, when you don't have other items to attend to. If you don't get these ahead of time, you might have to interrupt other tasks to get documents quickly so the auditors can proceed with their work.
Assign an Audit Liaison
No matter how well-prepared you are for an audit, auditors will have questions that arise as they pore over your company's books. They may also need additional, supporting or clarifying documents. Instead of letting the auditors ask anyone in the company when they have a question or need another file, request that they only go to a specifically assigned audit liaison.
Designating someone in your company to act as a liaison will keep other people from being regularly interrupted. This person may be interrupted a lot during the audit, but others will be able to solely focus on their tasks. It will also save auditors time because they won't have to ask multiple people.
Ask for a Break in the Middle of the Audit
If your audit will last for several days, or even several weeks, ask for a break in the middle of it. Taking a day or few days off from an audit can give you time to catch up on critical business operations that might get ignored because of the increased workload the audit causes. Sometimes, even just a free afternoon to catch up on items can help. Auditors can sometimes arrange their workflow so that they can work independently for a day and the request won't hinder them.
Everyone involved in an audit wants it to go as quickly and smoothly as possible. Taking these preparatory steps will make auditors' jobs easier, and it will minimize how much your company's audit interferes with normal operations. Check out http://www.edwardthomasassociates.com/ if you have questions or would like more help preparing for an audit.