5 Keys to Successful External Audit Preparation

5 Keys to Successful External Audit Preparation

Capturing robust audit preparation benefits

At a recent Austin, Texas, Bridge Builders Alliance “ Business Leadership Series” event the theme included how Austin and surrounding Texas area business leaders can aspire and achieve in their business world greater things for a greater purpose. It would follow that greater things and greater purposes are achievable where opportunities and resulting benefits are captured and harvested.

Robust audit preparation can have significant tangible and intangible company benefits. The most obvious are the potential reduction of audit costs and in business interruption as well as the elimination or control of unwelcomed surprises. By taking unfettered control of your audit preparation process, other benefits may emerge.

Those Benefits Include increases in or enhancements to:

  1. Employee morale, teamwork, confidence, knowledge and experience
  2. Audit satisfaction
  3. Auditor relationship
  4. Audit committee or its equivalent confidence over company engagement and audit oversight
  5. Process improvements and efficiencies
  6. Error reduction and
  7. Preparation for other potential transactions (acquisition, due diligence, third party examination) often accompany stepped up control of the audit preparation process.
  8. Always be Prepared

    Audit preparation can be a year-round process affected by one-off transactions (due diligence and acquisitions, quarterly reviews, new accounting pronouncements or accounting issues, fair value calculations, changes to compensation or other employee benefit items, income tax planning and structuring, internal control matters) but of course, centers around the need for, and timing of, an external audit.

    In certain cases, it is a best or better practice to engage accounting and audit experienced professionals to guide companies through the process, whether it is a one-off transaction or through the full external audit process. Notwithstanding whether you use external professionals or not, the key to successful external audits, or other external parties such as potential acquirers and regulatory reviewers, or internal parties such as internal audit, include:

    1. ignificantly engaged management and proper “tone at the top”
    2. strong>Adequate accounting and audit knowledgeable and engaged company personnel or representatives
    3. ppropriately implemented project management to foster accountability and ownership including issue identification and resolution
    4. ufficiently frequent and informative communication
    5. ufficiently documented internal accounting controls, transactional information and accounting positions and related assumptions

    If you choose to engage auditing and accounting experts to assist you in the audit preparation process or in preparing support for one off complex transactions, a scalable methodology designed to efficiently discharge external audit preparation deliverables is necessary. Depending on where a company is in the audit preparation process, this scalable methodology should result in the preparation of the necessary deliverables precisely when needed at a level of accuracy and professionalism designed to exceed expectations. Furthermore, this methodology is designed for companies to help realize the significant benefits, referred to above, of a properly planned and executed external audit preparation process.

    To help you realize how outside professionals could use a scalable audit preparation methodology, or to conduct your own high level assessment of your audit preparation process, we have prepared an “Audit Preparation Assistance” methodology presentation that depicts, on a high level, how an audit preparation process is assessed and what type of processes could be put in place. You can download this presentation by clicking the button below.

    Request Audit Preparation Assistance

    Sam H. Carr is the Managing Partner of Carrtegra, LLC. Sam has over 30 years of experience in accounting, auditing, financial management and consulting. Sam has focused much of his career on process improvement and redesign. Sam holds an MBA and is a CPA, CIA, CISA and a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP). Sam is a finance and operations executive with broad-based experience that includes 12 years as a CFO or Chief Accounting Officer in both public corporations and private entities, and fourteen years with an international public accounting firm. Sam orchestrated an Initial Public Offering of a consolidation of dental practices throughout the United States. In addition to his IPO experience, he owns a powerful track record of demonstrated skills in a wide range of business environments including designing financing, mergers and acquisitions and growth companies. Sam has been the Chief Executive of a management consulting firm for the most recent 10 years. Sam’s focus has been substantially on quality of services and valued solutions as well as client and employee retention.