How to Audit During Lockdown
Business Auditing During Lockdown
The Coronavirus has impacted business, there’s no doubt about it. With lockdowns forcing everyone to stay and work at home where possible, tasks such as keeping track of finances have become even more tedious. If you need to conduct an audit during lockdown, however, there are ways to go about it, with remote auditing being the new norm – for now. So here’s how to get the job done effectively, without putting your safety at risk.
Do I Need an Audit?
Before sussing out the socially distanced elements of getting a lockdown audit, it’s worth asking if you really need one at this moment of time – or if it can wait. If you’ve recently been audited, it might be worth waiting a while. But if your stakeholders have requested an audit, or you want to keep a close eye on the financial health of your company during the pandemic, it’s a good idea to go ahead with the process.
That said, bear in mind that an audit must only go ahead if it can be conducted, thoroughly and accurately with a fully-qualified auditor. An in-person audit is always the preferred option as meeting face-to-face with an auditor allows them to fully understand company operations. If you opt for a virtual audit, your auditor will need to be flexible, confident at using technology and good at communicating with your business. By giving clear deadlines of when information is needed, you’ll know exactly where you stand and can prepare accordingly. You’ll also need a stable internet connection and agree on set communication channels. If a disruption occurs, make sure you set up a new meeting promptly and check that you’re all on the same page regarding information shared.
A Virtual Audit – What’s It All About?
Audits usually require plenty of preparation before an independent auditor pops into your workplace and checks the financial state of your company by conducting interviews and checking relevant papers or online files. With COVID-19 doing the rounds, however, virtual audits are taking place using technology such as Zoom, email and telephone calls. Your auditor will still need to see the same information, meaning you’ll have to prep just as hard. You’ll also have to ensure all information can be presented clearly and sent digitally. An audit should be a collaborative process, so don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have.
The Benefits of Cloud Accounting
If you’ve already got a cloud accounting solution, then great. This will help a virtual audit to run as smoothly as possible and make it easier to stay on top of your accounts. Cloud accounting solutions will save you time and provide access to your finances 24/7. You can also better monitor cashflow, enjoy easy-to-claim expenses and get instant budget reports. Also, when the auditor asks for specific information, it’ll be all in one place. If you’re still using self-hosted software, now could be the perfect time to make the switch.
If you need help with auditing during lockdown, contact us today.