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Audit Readiness Services
Easing the burden of financial compliance through audit preparedness
Your first financial statement audit is coming. Audit readiness is imperative. Deloitte’s extensive financial statement audit experience means we know what lies ahead for you and your team. Our audit readiness services use that experience to help you reduce your burden and increase your chances for a smooth audit.
Financial reporting challenges of your first audit
As your company grows, stakeholders, including investors, banks, and regulators, will become more interested in reviewing your financial statements. An audit of those statements may eventually be needed to give those stakeholders the confidence they need to keep you moving forward.
For that first audit in particular, and for those that follow, preparation is vital. A lack of audit readiness can lead to an audit that takes longer and could result in the identification of significant deficiencies and material weaknesses. Beyond paying higher-than-expected fees and taking additional time, such an audit could diminish stakeholder confidence and jeopardize whatever big step(s) you have planned.
For your audit, preparation can also be demanding. Many companies underestimate the time and access to records required to prepare for and support the audit process. Companies may be staffed for daily operations, and adding in audit requirements and requests may be overwhelming. Understanding and assessing the information an audit requires before that audit begins can help companies avoid problems along the way.
Prioritize your planning
Being unprepared for your first audit can lead to:
- Delays in the completion of the financial statement audit
- Identification of internal control deficiencies
- Audit fees that are higher than expected
Key audit readiness considerations
So what needs to be done in order to better set the stage for an efficient first audit? Consider these six steps:
Ensure your people have capacity to support the audit in addition to their daily duties.
Get on the same page with your auditor about timing. A timeline should have mutual commitment from the company and auditor.
Communicate openly and frequently about audit-related requests, status, questions, and concerns.
Prepare a record of the company’s accounting policies, and formalize accounting considerations surrounding more complex accounting matters. One recommendation is to do this as they arise throughout the year instead of all at once at year-end.
Develop, retain, and organize supporting reconciliations and schedules for financial statements. Reconcile these to the trial balance, and ensure that you have sufficient evidence to support the recorded transactions. Complete the financial close process as you initiate the audit.
Many companies headed for their first audit figure they can handle this preparation using only their own internal resources. However, many of them end up with a challenging audit on their hands. Bringing in Deloitte’s audit readiness team could lead to a more predictable audit experience while freeing up internal resources for other business priorities.
How Deloitte can help
Deloitte brings a holistic approach to audit readiness. We embrace flexibility and scalability as we leverage our extensive financial statement audit experience, leading practices, and proprietary tools. Our audit readiness services put that experience to work. Audit preparedness is a journey with multiple steps. As your first (and subsequent) audits approach, we can advise on each one. We can brainstorm potential challenges, share leading practices, and provide educational insights pertaining to:
- Elements of and differences between financial statement audits and audits of internal control over financial reporting
- Areas of focus and resource requirements for a financial statement audit
- Identification of transactions or accounts that may require technical accounting analysis
We can also help keep you informed on tactical aspects of your audit, including:
- Typical phases and timing
- Anticipated auditor requests
- Documentation necessary to support transactions and accounting conclusions
The Deloitte difference
Our approach to audit readiness. We have used our years of experience as a leading provider of financial statement and internal control audit services to develop the tools and resources your company needs to prepare for a financial statement audit. Over a relatively short period of time, using a streamlined approach, we can assist you in identifying gaps in your company’s audit readiness. We tailor our approach and resources based on the company’s needs to assist you in being successful in your financial statement audit.
Proven experience, enhanced performance. With Deloitte, you will work with experienced audit and assurance professionals who have in-depth knowledge of the steps needed to prepare for and complete a financial statement audit. You will also receive access to our industry-focused leading practices and award-winning tools and innovations to address your audit readiness needs.
Complex accounting and financial reporting services. We can also help you work through complex accounting questions related to accounting standards, transactions, and/or key areas of complexity such as revenue and equity. We can provide internal control implementation support and training on Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and internal control, among other internal control–related services.
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The services described herein are illustrative in nature and are intended to demonstrate our experience and capabilities in these areas; however, due to independence restrictions that may apply to audit clients (including affiliates) of Deloitte & Touche LLP, we may be unable to provide certain services based on individual facts and circumstances.
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