Does your auditor’s impending visit send shivers down your spine?
Often, it’s not even because they’re going to catch you out on anything – it’s because of the visit itself. The initial prep work, gathering information, arranging office space for the audit team, chopping and changing your diary to make sure you’re available.
Wouldn’t it be better if the audit team could do all their testing in their own offices and only come to you with queries?
THE SEARCH FOR A BETTER WAY
Over the past year, COVID-19 brought that scenario to life for us auditors and our clients. So, how did it go?
Well, it was a mixed bag of improvements and brand-new headaches. Office space was saved, at the cost of more time spent scanning in information. Contact was kept to scheduled Teams/Zoom meetings, but we lost a bit of personal touch and the professional comfort that comes from working closely with your auditor.
Learning lessons and listening to our clients, it’s clear many of them preferred a hybrid approach. They loved the ability to provide information to us digitally, which we would then work on remotely before coming onto site for a highly focussed, efficient visit.
In this visit, we would agree source documents which were either too cumbersome to scan, or too confidential to upload. We could also ‘press the flesh’ (bump elbows) with our clients and have full and frank discussions in glorious 3D, free from screens.
EMBRACING THE HYBRID APPROACH WITH INFLO
At Cooper Parry, one of the ways we’re embracing this hunger for a hybrid approach is by partnering with Inflo – a browser-based online audit and data analytics platform, with a whole host of time-saving bells and whistles.
Tired of running reports from your finance system for the audit team?
Inflo’s Ingest module securely and intelligently connects to your finance system, collects only what it needs and delivers it to your audit team. This leaves them with a single data set, meaning they can run their own activity reports, saving you time during the audit.
Has an old-fashioned static request list created a communication disconnect between you and the auditor?
One where you believe you’ve provided everything, but the audit team are asking for the same items? Inflo’s Collaborate module changes the request list into a dynamic, live document, meaning you’ll be able to delegate items to your colleagues while still keeping an eye on their completion.
You can upload any file type and size against each individual request, so no matter what you name it, there won’t be any confusion around what question(s) it’s answering. Comments can also be added to each request, keeping the conversations against the issue they’re looking to resolve and taking away the ‘audit noise’ from your e-mails.
Inflo is ISO 27001 accredited and has security protocols for server, website and network security, giving you complete peace of mind around the security of the information you share.
Inflo also has data analytics modules to provide insight into your own data, giving you a wider, more impactful view of what’s happening in your organisation.
ONE SIDE OF THE HYBRID COIN
In that snapshot of Inflo and its powerful benefits, you’ve seen the digital side of our hybrid approach. The other half comes from what we’re renowned for at Cooper Parry – the engaged, electrifying team of people delivering the client work – and we’ll always look to finish off any key items that benefit from our physical presence onsite, giving you the best of both worlds.
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this. Are you a fellow card-carrying auditor? How was remote working for you and your clients? If you’re a client yourself, how was your last remote audit? What went well and what could be better?
Let me know at email@example.com.
Bhavesh Patel | Not for Profit Audit Manager