Financial Management |
From the July/August 2018 Net Assets magazine
Article by Melissa Woodin, The Hotchkiss School
This article is based on a Goldmine session Woodin delivered at the 2018 NBOA Annual Meeting. Visit go.nboa.org/2018AnnualMeeting to download the handouts from that presentation and many others.
Do you dread your annual audit because it takes so much of your time? What if I told you there are some simple things you can do to make the audit more organized and efficient? I have been coordinating annual audits for almost 20 years now. When I started, I would get frustrated by the auditors asking for the same documents over and over. I struggled to stay on top of their endless requests. Over the years I have learned what it takes to have the audit run efficiently, saving our school time and money.
A typical independent school audit takes place 30 to 90 days after the end of the school year. The specific dates depend on when your board or audit committee expects to review audited financials. Be sure you’ll have enough staff on hand during the audit so you can quickly fulfill on-site requests.
A few months prior to the audit field work, have a conversation with your auditors about the timing and expectations of the field work. Ask the following questions:
How soon can they provide the Prepared by Client (PBC) list?
The PBC list is your bible during the audit. This lists all the documents the auditors will require when the audit begins. Ask for this as far ahead of time as possible to help you prepare everything before the auditors arrive. Recommended steps:
My best advice is to scan all audit documents and submit them to auditors electronically. Save these items using the PBC number system above. If the audit firm has a share site, upload the audit documents there as well.
Avoid giving hard copies. If the auditors must review original documents, ask them to do so on site. Don’t let the files leave the office.
Always find time to meet with the audit partner and go over what went well and what both sides could do better next year. Keep track of onsite requests that were not on the PBC list, and discuss if these requests should be added to next year’s PBC list.
Download a PDF of this article.
Sign in to leave a comment
Get Net Assets NOW
NBOA's free twice-monthly newsletter
1400 I Street, NW, Suite 675Washington, DC 20005www.nboa.org