The annual audit in your business or firm is probably one of the most stressful times in business and from the weeks after hearing about your audit until it is over, you will doubtless be beyond yourself with worry. Each year, the same thoughts will go through your head “why didn’t we fix our data compliance sooner…. why can’t we be perfectly organized all year…. why didn’t I check in on that?” These thoughts are perfectly natural of course, and you can deal with them later as the key is about the here and the now.
If you have an audit coming up soon, here is what you need to do to prepare for the big day.
Why Being Prepared Makes Sense
The reason why preparing for an audit is so important is because the idea of this whole process is to make the audit run as smoothly as possible and as quickly as possible. With this in mind then, you want to be able to give the auditors everything they need, with a moment’s notice. Equally, if there are any outstanding issues, preparation will give you the chance to fix them, or at the very least, know about them and be honest with the auditors about the gaps which you have.
Covering Your Tracks
If there are reports or information which you should have but don’t, it is time to start finding ways of ensuring that those reports are in there. Now, if this is a generic report which can be printed at any time then great, print it off and fill in the blanks. If however, you have mislaid a piece of information that should be there, and you can’t easily reprint it, you need to be on the front foot. For example you could replace the print and place a note on it to say that it was not the original copy for alternatively front it up with the auditor and let them know that this piece of information is not there.
Dealing With Auditors
When it comes to dealing with the auditors, it is important that you are nice, friendly, helpful and honest. If you have any ideas about charming an auditor to get the result that you want, then you really ought to forget it as it won’t work. At the end of the day, the auditors are there to do a job, make it as easy as possible for them and let them go about their business, if the result is bad, it is not their fault.
You need to prepare for the results to cover both possibilities, a positive result and a negative result. If the result is negative, go back to the drawing board, deal with your issues and see it as a learning curve which will help you in the long run. If the result of your audit is positive, now is the time to capitalize on this and work even harder to make sure that it says that way.