Audit process for a Chartered accountant

In the life of a CA, audits play a vital role in assessing the impact of a program or an organization. Fundamentally, an audit reveals the strengths and weaknesses that can be analysed to produce a favourable outcome.

In this post, we’re going to cover the 5 expert steps to conducting an audit. Whether internal or external auditing, you can follow these 5 steps to get the best results. But first, let’s dive into what auditors do.

What do auditors do?

An auditor is a professional who prepares and examines business operations with accurate data to support expected standards. The set standards may be determined by the audited company, or by the governmental or regulatory organizations. An audit is integral to compliance management and the CA practice itself.

While there are many different types of audits, for various purposes, the agenda is to gain a clear view of an organization or its operations with an action plan to generate good results. An audit can help identify key driving factors of an operation and potential risks or losses that may affect the organization. To understand more about the audit process, we can turn to how professionals perform an audit. 

Let’s jump into the 5 best practices of the audit process. Regardless of the audit, the fundamental structure applies to all forms of an audit process.

  1. Selection

A risk assessment can help develop an audit plan. At the initial stage, auditors consider all relevant business documents, like previous year’s financial records, CSR charts, third-party investments, employee registers, etc., to consolidate a solid plan for an improved business outcome. The process of selection gives an auditor clear results to focus on, while developing an audit for an organization or any of its operations.

  1. Planning

In the planning stage, auditors gather background information about the company and its activities. The client is directly in touch with the auditor to provide a clear view of the business. The objectives of the audit are discussed and determined, including parameters like the report distribution and fieldwork timings. During the planning phase, multiple meetings may be conducted to clearly define the objectives of a company that sets a standard for the audit process. This may include the expectations from staff members, the revenue targets, supply chain performance, logistics data and so on.

  1. Execution

Once the auditor has the relevant data about an organization or its operations, the fieldwork begins. Fieldwork is executed by the internal audit staff and can include multiple interviews with relevant stakeholders or employees from an organization. By obtaining regular status updates, the available data can be consolidated into an action plan. This process of execution maintains clear communication with the client and thus gives an added weightage to the audit process. Potential findings, audit observations, recommendations are clearly defined and discussed with the client organization. Thus, execution is the plan in action. 

  1. Reporting

The audit findings, specific recommendations, conclusions are all summarized and put together into a consolidated report. The goal of reporting is to keep track of the audit process in real-time. With data driven insights, the auditor can assess the functional and practical aspects of the organization’s activities. The report is submitted to the client as a draft, which gives the client an opportunity to analyse the results of an audit. It is only after a report is generated that a refined action plan can be formulated.

The client’s response to the suggested action plan is vital to establishing the effectiveness of the audit findings. After all, the action plan is substantiated with data about the organization and its activities to arrive at a beneficiary conclusion. The finalized findings and action plans comprise a final report for the organization to implement.

  1. Following up

Following up after the audit is conducted is vital to the relationship with a client. The succeeding audit can be a follow up on the previous audit. Following up on external audits through a voluntary internal audit provides a complete view of the organizational plan in action. The best practice is to support the findings of an external audit by conducting an internal audit within the client company. This is just to assure that your strategic insights were implemented correctly. The follow up is recommended to be conducted at least one year from issuing the first audit report.

Leveraging task management software for efficiency

Whether for internal or external audits, more professionals are leveraging technology for the best results. Following each step correctly is not enough, unless there’s a standardized and rational methodology to carry out the audit process, by saving time, energy and resources.

The use of a task management software can help auditors examine and compile client documentation easily. As an added advantage, an in-built revenue management system will help them account for every task performed in relation to an audit process. A dedicated client management platform will boost efficiency of the CA client relations. There are plenty of innovative features that Unpaper provides CA’s and auditors, which can enable ease and efficiency. 

Since the audit process involves large sums of documentation, a streamlined office management software for CA’s can be very useful. Unpaper is a full-fledged CA practice management software with inbuilt controls to manage compliance, filing, client records, branch management and tasks. So how does this help an audit process?

Benefits of an innovative software or auditing

As part of our commitment to the CA practice, we have compiled some useful pointers about the importance of following a standardized and well-documented audit process. Using a powerful task management software like Unpaper will not only boost efficiency of the audit process, but transform the CA practice with a collaborative and effective workflow mechanism.

Here’s how!

  • Effectively communicating audit expectations
  • Maintaining consistency and audit quality
  • Identifying risks of something going wrong
  • Automating repetitive tasks
  • Reducing the time required for audit application
  • Increasing efficiency
  • Mitigating overall risk
  • Engaging employees with accurate data
  • Simplifying training for trainees and employees
  • Retaining audit process knowledge, and documenting this knowledge
  • Timely delivery and error-free workflow

Essentially, a structured audit process can safeguard against errors, bringing out the many advantages of task management software for improved operations. A minor error could cost valuable time and resources; thus positioning Unpaper as the best software for Chartered Accountants with user-friendly and valuable features.

Unpaper was built to make the life of auditors and CA practitioners easy and error-free. If you found these tips useful, check out the many advantages of a refined practice management software for your CA operations and explore the pricing options here.

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