As a business owner, you understand the importance of complying with relevant laws, regulations, and standards. Whether it is financial reporting requirements or industry-specific regulations, maintaining compliance is crucial to avoid unnecessary headaches and costly penalties.
Having a competent auditor who can provide an objective and comprehensive review of your financial records and systems is essential for compliance in your business. When evaluating or selecting an auditor for your business’s needs, there are many factors to take into consideration including experience, size, location, reputation, availability, and price.
In addition to the above factors, industry knowledge, effective communication, and availability are crucial items business owners should consider when evaluating an auditor.
Engaging an audit firm with deep industry expertise enables you and your business to navigate key rule changes and ensure compliance. They must possess a profound understanding of relevant regulations, laws, and industry standards specific to your business. They should also have a process on staying updated with regulatory changes and accounting standard updates related to your business. A good auditor should be an essential partner, providing and reviewing the results of the audit with you, noting areas of risk and highlighting opportunities for improvement.
To ensure that the auditor helps you maintain compliance, it is crucial to have a shared understanding of the process. Effective and regular communication throughout the audit process plays a key role in achieving this as it allows for discussions, clarifications, and prompt addressing of concerns or questions. Additionally, a good auditor should maintain regular contact throughout the year, not just during the engagement.
After completing the audit and meeting regulatory requirements, a good auditor will check in on your business’s progress and provide information on industry changes to ensure you stay updated. This will allow the auditor to adjust the plan of their audit for any updates or changes that may have taken place that you otherwise may have been unaware of. It also helps keep costs related to the engagement down and avoid unnecessary headaches. No business owner wants to receive a call about missing a regulatory deadline due to lack of communication.
Availability is an often overlooked quality in a good auditor. When you engage an auditor, you should have access to them throughout the year. It’s important to build a trusting relationship in which you feel comfortable reaching out to them and they provide a timely response. This open line of communication benefits both parties, as it keeps the auditor informed about your business while avoiding surprises in the coming year. The auditor may also offer guidance on future decisions and provide insights that you may not have thought about to avoid unnecessary regulatory mistakes.
Having a skilled auditor who possesses industry knowledge, maintains effective communication, and provides ongoing support is essential for your business’s compliance efforts. By carefully evaluating auditors based on their qualifications and understanding their role as a partner in compliance, you can make informed decisions that contribute to the success and regulatory integrity of your business.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss this topic in further detail, please contact Frank L. Varanavage, Director, Audit & Accounting and member of Kreischer Miller’s Investment Industry Group at Email.
If you have any questions about this information or would like to discuss your firm’s needs, please contact Kreischer Miller’s Investment Industry Group.