Remote auditing is the way forward
Remote auditing has come to the forefront throughout the pandemic as businesses have had to adapt their working practices and as a result rethink their compliance. COVID-19, however, is not the only reason for this new way of working. In an increasingly digital world, companies are turning to remote audits as a way of efficiently managing their financial, operation, product, and supply chain audit processes.
What is a remote audit?
Remote audits are not that different from physical audits. Regardless of the way they are delivered, commercial audits are undertaken as an official inspection of a company’s accounts and financial records to ensure full compliance.
A remote audit allows the auditor to engage with a business through web streaming platforms and cloud-based software. It can still cover the review of documentation and records, tours of the premises, interviews with workers and allow for a presentation of findings once the inspection is complete.
What are the benefits?
Remote audits bring a number of benefits when compared to the traditional audit. These include:
- Reduced costs. With a remote audit, both the business and its auditors will work from the comfort of their own home or office, meaning travel time and accommodation expenses will be eliminated.
- Improved efficiency. As travel time is reduced, auditors will have more time to focus on undertaking the audit itself and use their time wisely when it comes to reviewing all aspects of the business and its processes. Key stakeholders will also benefit from the limited interaction they will need to make, instead they can just be part of key decisions or discussions as and when required.
- Mitigate risk. In the current climate, reducing a business’s exposure to potential risk is essential. By moving to a remote audit, businesses can be confident that all external risks are removed whilst ensuring the highest level of accessibility and control is given to the auditors. With the use of technology, businesses can easily share, but also control access to documents and resources to ensure full GDPR compliance.
How does it work?
Like a physical audit, remote audits have three stages: planning, examination, and reporting.
From the outset, forward planning is required to ensure all the correct tools and processes are in place. The right approach for the business needs to be considered as well as thought given to the specific industry compliance requirements as well as technology infrastructure. A discussion therefore needs to be had with the auditor before the investigation begins to clarify audit processes and agree technology methods and a finalised plan.
A successful remote audit relies on adequate connectivity to ensure the communication between the business and auditor is stable. Once up and running, the audit will begin and evidence collected via interview, review of documentation and records and observation of processes and activities. All evidence will be reviewed and reported to support the audit findings and conclusions – the only difference is it will be done using remote techniques.
The final stage of the audit is to develop an auditor’s report. In addition to a standard on-site audit report, remote audit reports will also include details about the remote auditing methods that have been used and will clarify the effectiveness of the audit in achieving the business’s set objectives.
Why choose us?
As society moves on and the drive towards remote working continues to thrive, it is important auditors adapt to suit the ever-changing needs of businesses.
At Dunkley’s, we have developed two remote audit services which will help businesses benefit from a commercially focused audit whilst creating value and delivering practical benefits. The first is our fully remote service and the second, our blended approach which looks to undertake certain aspects of the audit remotely and others in person.
This flexible approach enables us to fully tailor our services to a business’ specific needs and provide an efficient and effective service, that focuses on reducing costs, alleviating stress, mitigating risk and most importantly, enhancing internal efficiencies.
For us, no matter how the audit is undertaken, communication is key. Our team are always on hand to update key stakeholders, so everyone is given a deeper understanding of the business and any issues that may arise. Not only that, but we promise to provide a timely service whilst remaining personal, hands-on, and focused. After all, putting your business first is our main priority.
What can we do for you?