Preparing for your annual audit doesn't need to be time consuming or costly and it may well save you and your auditor plenty of time during the process itself. The tips below should help you ensure that everything is ready for your audit, saving you time when 'that time of year' comes around.
1 - Reconcile your bank accounts
This is a fairly simple step, especially for smaller firms, and one you'll probably be used to doing anyway, but making sure your accounts are reconciled can save you a lot of time when the audit process starts. Addressing anything that doesn't reconcile now, rather than during the audit, is another big time saver.
2 - Make sure any changes made throughout the year have been applied properly
Changes to how businesses operate and account for their operations are common, but whenever this happens and there's a need for something to change in your accounts make sure you've double checked how the change was carried out: clearly, this is an area where there is a higher-than-normal likelihood of a mistake.
3 - Where practical, carry out an internal 'mini audit'
This won't be to the same level as when we review your accounts for your formal audit, but carrying out an internal audit is obviously good practice and can help to flag up problems before they become more serious. Getting someone with some accounting experience involved, perhaps from a different part of the company, can have a lot of added value.
4 - Organise for audit!
You might know where everything is in your office but your auditor likely won't, even if they come to your offices every year. Have everything prepared and allow them to get access to what they need easily and quickly. You don't want to spend the entire audit hunting for that pile of receipts you 'just thought were in that drawer!'
5 - Questions? Just ask!
If something doesn't look right - perhaps something new or an accountancy procedure you've never dealt with before - just let us know up front. We'll be happy to talk it through with you to help the rest of the audit procedure run smoothly.