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Thread from LinkedIn CFO group

AS CFO HOW DO YOU SEE THE AUDIT ? IS A SOLUTION OR A PROBLEM ?PUNISHMENT, POINT OUT ERRORS OR ORIENTATATION?

Answers

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

This is a love hate sort of thing for me. I try to be very thorough in providing them with everything they will need when I send over the year end file because I don't want them to have to come back and need anything or have questions. Of course they always have a few, which I don't mind. I think what I hate about it is if they point out something we should have done differently or something we just missed. I only hate it because I feel like it points out inabilities and I am a perfectionist with my work so it kinda hurts the pride a bit when someone finds something wrong.

I have to say I love when someone finds a more efficient way to do things. The more we can streamline while still maintaining a solid check and balance is a win win.

Sara Voight
Title: Controller
Company: Critical Signal Technologies, Inc
(Controller, Critical Signal Technologies, Inc) |

I wish this was an excercise with a purpose. Similar to Christie, I try to have everything prepared and to them in advance/on day one of the audit. I take pride in being prepared with no loose items. Year after year, I find myself explaining the unique parts of our business to support how we do things. I have joked that I am going to produce a YouTube video for new auditor orientation to give me back some of my work time. To get advice on how to improve our processes comes as another opportunity for the audit firm to make money, and not part of their audit findings.

In the end, the audit reports (management letter, findings, etc) only support that what my department is doing is correct with regards to GAAP compliance. It feels good to get that letter, but the $60K we pay would be better spent on bonuses for the team that gets it done.

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

That's the problem with so many audit firms: You're training their newbie staff which turns over every year. I'm going through that right now with new auditors who have myself and my staff tied up full time. Before them, I worked with a different audit firm for more than ten years and the partner handled the audit himself every year and was present with any staff he brought it. It saved them and us a lot of time and a lot of explanation.

You can ensure that this doesn't happen to you in your selection of auditors, but it takes some finesse.

Anders Liu-Lindberg
Title: Regional Finance Business Partner
Company: Maersk Line Northern Europe
LinkedIn Profile
(Regional Finance Business Partner, Maersk Line Northern Europe) |

I have a fairly relaxed approach to auditors as they are not taking a deep look into our books anyway. Therefore we can easily manage the process with minimal loss of time. To me it as a rubber stamp in most cases although they do point out some valid issues from time to time.

George Holowko
Title: Operations & Finance Consultant
Company: George Holowko, CPA, CCP
(Operations & Finance Consultant, George Holowko, CPA, CCP) |

There is a stigma that seems to be attached to the auditing career. Just being introduced to someone as an auditor will immediately create a communications filter and possible barrier. ...Even if the auditor is there to help them.

Unless fraud is buried under the covers, IMHO, financial audits should be viewed in a positive light. They assure lenders and investors the records are reasonably true and correct and lenders and investors may be able to lend and invest even more, for continued growth. I understand the efforts to prepare, guide, and respond to the questions can be frustrating, but, hey... That's part of the job!

The financial audit, like paying taxes, is a "necessary evil" that any public company needs to accept. Financial audits, however, are generally quick and painless, assuming the accounting teams are up to date on their records supporting schedules.

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