How to Avoid a Never-Ending Audit

by Joseph Kirkpatrick / September 6th, 2019

There are many decisions that organizations need to consider when choosing an audit firm, like cost, expertise, location, timeline, and audit process. You need to be confident in who’s performing your audit, especially in a clear, accurate audit process. If not, you’re risking a case of the never-ending audit.

The Audit That Never Ends

A never-ending audit is one where you’re revisiting the same tasks time and time again with no end in sight. You’re working diligently on your audit tasks, but you don’t know what stage you’re in. You’re lost in the processes and can’t see an end in sight. There’s a lack clarity and understanding which leaves you wondering what evidence the auditor is looking for or how many tasks are left in your queue. A never-ending audit is not an audit you want to spend valuable time and money on. To avoid a never-ending audit, you need to know your audit firm and its processes well.

Getting to Know Your Audit Firm

How can you put your best foot forward as you begin your audit process? You can start by getting to know your audit firm. It’s important to understand the processes of the audit firm you choose, because a high-quality process produces an accurate and timely audit report. What questions should you be asking when choosing an audit firm?

  • What is their audit process? How does the audit firm conduct an audit? Do they visit your location in an onsite visit or is the audit completed remotely?
  • What are the expectations for your organization? How fast are you expected to complete the tasks? Are you expected to be on weekly calls? Is there an expectation that you will initiate communication or is that left up to the auditor?
  • How will the audit timeline be kept? Are they working on a timeline you have presented? Are you supposed to follow a timely system that has already been developed? How will you be notified of your timeline? Will you be able to see your progress as you move through the audit process?
  • Who will you be working with? What members of a team will be included on calls or in communication with your organization? What qualifications does this auditing team have to conduct an accurate, quality audit for your organization?

Gathering information on their processes is integral in getting to know your audit firm. You have to know how they perform an audit in order to trust them and be confident in their firm. At KirkpatrickPrice, we use the Online Audit Manager to visually provide direction, progress, and clarity during your audit process. You get to know us through our high-quality procedures and practices which provide your organization with a timely, accurate audit report. You won’t have to endure a never-ending audit when you start your audit with KirkpatrickPrice.

[av_toggle_container initial=’1′ mode=’accordion’ sort=” styling=” colors=” font_color=” background_color=” border_color=” custom_class=”]
[av_toggle title=’Transcript’ tags=”]

A common story we hear from clients who have gone through audits with other audit firms is that they think they’re done with their audit, but then the auditor comes back with another spreadsheet or another request for evidence. Now they think they’re done, again, but then, later, the auditor comes back again and says, “Oh, I just need a few more things.” It always feels like the never-ending audit. You don’t have that experience at KirkpatrickPrice because using our Online Audit Manager, you always have a visual understanding of exactly where you are in the audit process. You understand whether or not the auditor has looked at your submission or not. You also understand whether or not the auditor has accepted, meaning they finished looking at it, or whether or not something is pending, meaning that they might have to do something else on that particular item. Regardless, it always tells you exactly where you stand and whether or not to expect something else from your auditor before finally being complete with your audit.



About the Author

Joseph Kirkpatrick

Joseph Kirkpatrick is the Managing Partner at KirkpatrickPrice and holds the CISSP, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, and QSA certifications, specializing in data security, IT governance, and regulatory compliance. He enjoys helping our clients and stakeholders by navigating them through the complex maze of compliance and regulatory requirements.