LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

Financial Statement Audit

What You Need for a Successful Financial Statement Audit

JARED HARDY, AUDIT DIRECTOR

 

Tedious, overwhelming, and taxing. Audits come with a reputation that hardly leaves a good feeling yet having a successful audit starts with abandoning the stigma. As with anything else that can tow the line between disappointment and success, audits are completely reliant on your outlook on the matter. In short, you need perspective and preparation.

Pave the Way with Preparation for Your Audit

Assigned with the task to meticulously examine facts and figures of your business, auditors need to know the ins-and-outs of your business to appropriately prepare for your financial statement audit. Typically, an auditor will schedule a planning day to consult on overall plan for the audit and to discuss what has been going on with the business. As the Audit Director, I recommend scheduling your planning day prior year end, so that way you can establish a timeline for the audit and start collecting information for the audit.

To make the planning day run smoothly, it’s best to come prepared. Keep in mind it’s helpful for your auditor to understand how certain processes work and what’s risky for your business. Allocating time and/or appointing someone, like the chief financial officer or human resource personnel, to ensure your auditor has a thorough understanding of these things are significantly helpful in preparation. Additionally, any documents that had a financial impact, good or bad, on your business in the last year, will come in handy in guiding your auditor. Gather documents tied to new leases, loans, clients, contracts, etc., and compile them for your auditor. This saves rush and fuss of collecting information on a tight deadline.

Pick a Positive Perception of Your Audit

It’s been said thousands, maybe even millions, of times before — attitude is everything. As auditors, we’re trying to help your business do better, and make decisions that alleviate financial stress. Informing and reminding your team that the auditor is there to perform a financial statement audit as opposed to an IRS audit can help defeat some of those preconceived negative opinions. Taking it a step further, explain how a financial statement audit will improve the business. This positive outlook will make the process feel far less strenuous and daunting.

Auditors understand your day-to-day tasks are a priority for you and your business, but being patient and setting aside time to answer the auditors questions will keep you informed on the progress of the audit as well as keep it moving toward the finish line. It’s also important to know there will be follow up when we leave your office, so it could be a few weeks before the audit is completely done.

All in all, going through an audit is much like going to the dentist. The anticipation alone can make you uncomfortable. But once the dentist, an expert, confirms that you’re cavity-free (or removes it so that you’re cavity-free), you’re able to rest easy. Just remember, the auditor is there to boost the financial well-being of your business rather than criminalize your financial shortcomings.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jared Hardy

308.385.1167

jhardy@lutz.us

3320 JAMES ROAD

SUITE 100

GRAND ISLAND, NE 68803

JARED HARDY + AUDIT SHAREHOLDER

Jared Hardy is an Audit Shareholder at Lutz with over 13 years of experience. He has significant experience in public accounting providing accounting, auditing and consulting services to privately-held companies in a variety of industries.

AREAS OF FOCUS
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Certified Public Accountant
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BS in Accounting, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • NOVA Treatment, Board Member
  • Knights of Columbus, Member

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