Not-for-Profit organizations require specialized accounting, compliance, and consulting when it comes to financial reporting. Meeting these needs requires professionals who understand the complexity and can deliver the full range of services it takes to deal with them, this is especially so when it comes to remote audit working. YHB’s Not-for-Profit team has come up with five steps to take to ensure a smooth and successful audit process while working remotely.
Determine how you will best send and receive documentation for the audit
The auditor will provide their preferred means for sharing audit documentation, so it is best to establish a way that will work best for the client as well. Whether it is through a shared folder, email, or a software, make sure it is accessible and user-friendly for everyone involved with the audit process. Once the channel for sharing documentation is established, stick to this method. If information is sent and received through various channels, it can be hard for both the auditor and the client to keep track of what is still outstanding and what has already been provided. Make sure confidential documentation is shared securely. This step is particularly important for information being shared via email. To be safe, encrypt all emails that contain documentation or information regarding your organization. The auditor will have a way for you to send secure emails to them, so ensure you ask for this.
Touch base frequently to discuss status, open items, or to clarify any issues
This can be via email, phone call, or video call. For ease, set this up to be the same time every day. If this is a recurrent audit with the same auditors and you are unsure what the auditor is asking for, ask what was provided in the prior year. This saves everyone time by making sure the right item is provided the first time around.
Send along documentation as soon as it is ready
The trial balance and general ledger are key components to getting an audit started, so make sure to send those along as early as possible. Meeting minutes, bank reconciliations, and debt agreements can also be sent along before fieldwork starts. The auditor may provide a timeline on the PBC list for when they want to receive certain items. Sticking to this timeline will help the audit get started on the right foot. If there is a quick turnover or deadline for the audit, make sure information and requests are being sent along efficiently and as quickly as possible.
Discuss with the auditor the best time for them to send requests
If time zones or work schedules are different between the auditor and the client, it is important to establish the best times to communicate. Before sending requests, let your auditor know when to expect them, as well as when you will be sending along support and documentation.
Wrap up the audit shortly after the fieldwork is complete
When the week of fieldwork wraps up, be mindful of what is still outstanding and plan to complete outstanding requests as quickly as possible. Wrapping up the audit shortly after fieldwork is the best-case scenario for everyone.
Although Not-for-Profit audits can require a lot of specialization, by following these steps and being as communicative as possible, this task can be completed in a timely and successful manner. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our Not-for-Profit team. Our goal is to become your trusted advisor by delivering responsive service that exceeds your expectations.