While most companies think of audits as an annual necessity, the vast majority typically keep to the same old standards and don’t know to ask for more. But the audit process has changed, and businesses should raise their expectations accordingly.
Today’s audit should extend beyond bringing in accountants to ensure you’ve dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. It should be greater than a piece of paper with recommendations upon completion. There is knowledge that can be mined during an audit – advisors should be able to identify risks that may need to be assessed and managed for the long-term strategy of their business.
“All audits are not created equal,” cautions Justin Mentele, partner at K·Coe Isom. “We have witnessed a wide discrepancy in the level of analysis and evaluation performed by audit advisors, and the opportunities many businesses have lost by being underserved are evident. The process has evolved, and businesses should be getting value-added suggestions that they can use to improve both finances and operations.”
3 Audit Improvements for Every Business
Businesses today need advisors who can incorporate knowledge into the audit process. This has been the primary driver for recent changes that have improved audit efficiencies and eliminated challenges. Consider these three ways to make audit improvements for your business:
- Year-round Approach – Rather than waiting until late in the year and then “camping” the audit team in your organization’s conference room, consider a year-round approach to auditing. Not only does it remove much of the stress and distraction of the audit process, it allows your business to capitalize on proactive ideas during the year (and before it’s too late).
- Virtual Inventory – During a year-round approach, the use of video technology to conduct physical inventory observations can be very effective. Your employees can perform this at their convenience and simplify this part of the audit procedure to involve other key stakeholders.
- Artificial Intelligence – New technology has been recognized as a game-changer for the audit process. With artificial technology, many audit advisors are driving greater value and results for businesses. Essentially, it provides the peace of mind of a thorough and deep dive into their financials, while creating more time to focus on assessing and improving processes, procedures, and policies.
While every business should still expect the detailed examination of the books, accounts, records, documents and financial statement to insure accounts are properly maintained, discrepancies are managed, and compliance issues are addressed – the intrinsic value of the audit process is delivered through the wisdom and approach of the audit team. Incorporating these improvements can create more opportunities and add value for your business throughout the audit process.
Interested in learning more about audit efficiencies and opportunities? K·Coe has specialized audit advisory teams for each of the industries we serve — manufacturing, biofuels, food and beverage, and equipment dealers. We understand your industry and go beyond the financial audit for what matters most. Contact a K·Coe advisor for more information.