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  • Writer's pictureRachel Litwack

So you need an audit...

Hooray! You've just received a bounty of much needed funding-congratulations! You can now make all those great programs happen and hire new staff. But it comes with a caveat-you will need an audit to show you are spending these funds as intended. The word audit strikes fear in many, but it doesn't have to be an intimidating process.

We have found that most organizations and government entities we serve do not have a real foundation for their fears about undergoing an audit. When the expectations are clear on both sides, it helps allay those concerns.

We aim to make this process as stress-free and streamlined. Once we are engaged as auditors, we provide a list of items we need far in advance, and are available to assist if you have questions.

The actual audits are done both remotely and in person, with client preference playing a role. We handle the majority of the work electronically, and find that we are virtually paperless. It's a win-win for us and our clients (and the environment too, we suppose).

A few tips to keep in mind-

-If you are a nonprofit who needs an audit for monies received, remember to line up an auditor before you begin spending funding so you know how much to withhold for your audit fees. Depending on the type of organization or funding received, this can be a decent chunk of money, and you don't want to scramble to find the money for a required audit.

-Understand your engagement letter (basically a contract with your auditing firm for services). Ask questions if you need clarification.

-If you have to undergo an audit, be sure to understand what fees are included in the scope of the services being engaged. You don't want to learn mid-way through the process that you have to prepare something you didn't expect.

-If you have a tight timelines, get your documents to the auditors as efficiently as possible, in as few batches as possible, and make yourself available to your auditors to answer questions, or review drafts. When there is a short timeframe, it takes a team effort!

-Auditors aren't evil (most of them anyway), and working with them will make the process go smoothly.

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