The audit is at the heart of accounting service. We perform audits on our clients to give them reassurance that their financial statements are in order and that their internal controls are sufficient. Regular audits can help you establish credibility with your shareholders, lenders and other interested parties.
One of the most important things in an audit is benchmarking to your industry. We have a team of experts that have extensive experience and deep knowledge in a wide variety of industries. They analyze your business through the specific lens of your industry and accurately compare your financials with your competitors.
Here are a few of the steps we take in an audit:
Examine bookkeeping processes.
How are your transactions logged? How is information communicated from various departments to your accounting department? If a sale is recorded, is there a process in place for that information to flow directly to your accounting team? Or does it require multiple steps of inputting data and handing off paperwork?
We look at your system as well as the technology you have in place. The most effective organizations leverage technology to limit the amount of opportunities for human error.
We identify gaps in your process and recommend solutions. Perhaps new software could tie all of your departments together, so information could be communicated to your accounting department more seamlessly. Maybe there are steps in your process that are duplicating efforts and can be eliminated. We identify these areas and come up with a set of action items to improve your process.
Analyze internal controls.
Your internal controls help keep your books honest and prevent internal fraud. How strong are your controls? Are there any areas of weakness or vulnerability? We analyze your internal controls to make sure you’re not exposed to unnecessary threats.
We look at how accounting and bookkeeping tasks are delegated. Are tasks separated by employee? Or do you have one or two people handling the whole operation? If you do segment tasks between employees, do you rotate them regularly? Do you require that they take mandatory vacations?
We “red flag” areas where one or two people have complete control over information. That’s a signal that your controls may be lacking. We also compare your financial documents to outside documents that corroborate the information, like tax returns, vendor purchase orders and customer receipts. Discrepancies could also signal weakness in your controls.
Compare to competitors.
Because we have a team of experts with knowledge about a variety of industries, we’re able to dig deep into your controls and compare them with other members of your industry.
We may find that you have certain processes that fall outside the mainstream. Maybe you process payments in a different way. Maybe your payment terms are different from your competitors. Perhaps your internal controls could stand for improvement.
Comparisons to competitors are especially important because lenders and investors will benchmark your company against competitors when deciding about financing. Do your financial documents have the transparency and integrity that other companies in your industry have? If not, you could be at a disadvantage when you seek financing.
Audit tax records.
We also go back and look at tax records to make sure there are no omissions or errors. Tax mistakes can come back to haunt you long after you’ve filed your returns, so it’s important to identify those mistakes and take action before you’re penalized for them.
We dig through your past invoices, receipt and other documents and compare those to your tax returns. If we find potential issues and liabilities, we develop action items to correct those problems. We help you get ahead of the issue before it becomes a serious problem.
This is just a sampling of some of the items we look for in an audit. The overall goal is to make sure that your financial documents are as accurate and transparent as possible so that you can establish and maintain credibility with your financial partners.
We are thorough in our audits, but we also respect your timeline and budget. We have the experience to perform an audit in a timely and cost-effective manner.
In addition to recommending solutions to fix vulnerabilities, we also provide cash flow projections, budgets and any other planning tools that you may need to make informed decisions. Our team of knowledgeable and skilled auditors is ready to help you strengthen the financial heart of your business. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.