Here we go again! Another year, another audit. Maybe this time last year you were a little stressed trying to prepare paperwork and fulfilling requests for the audit team but have no fear because we have tips for you this year!
You can rely on these restaurant audit preparation tips to best help you get ready.
- Planning – It is important for both you and the audit team to be aware of what and when items are expected. Both parties should have an open communication about dates for preliminary and year-end audit fieldwork. You should also include a realistic timeline of when you will provide requested items to the audit team. Auditors understand that you still have your daily obligations during the audit, so this will help you plan your days in a timely manner. Additionally, if you are unable to meet an agreed upon deadline, you should communicate that with the audit team as soon as possible to prevent unexpected delays and miscommunication.
- Reconciliations – You would be surprised that this area most often causes audits to incur additional costs and not run smoothly. Our audit team highly recommends clients to reconcile significant accounts monthly or quarterly and be reviewed by higher senior level for accuracy.
- Account clean-up – It can be very tedious and time consuming for both parties to communicate back and forth about the activity of certain balances, fluctuations, and why certain accounts are behaving differently year-over-year. We highly recommend you to clean-up the trial balance and make any last-minute journal entries before sending them over to the audit team.
- Organization – A lot can happen in a year! Therefore, we recommend you keep track of any new lease agreements, updated operating agreements, debt agreements, subsequent events, and many more as they occur. Imagine not having to sit at your computer trying to think back to those changes that happened back in February because you had already documented it! Your auditors would be very happy as well. It’s a win-win for everyone!
- First-year audits – If this is your first audit experience, be prepared for a bumpy road, not that it is a bad thing! First-year audits are especially challenging since we require more evidence to meet our standards, so you will get more questions and requests thrown at you. Like everything else in life, it will get easier over time, especially after you and the audit team have established a relationship and they have a better understanding of the company.
Sometimes, audits can feel like that one task you put off until the very last minute. But it doesn’t have to be that way! If you follow our tips, you can check that task of your list much faster and with a few less headaches.
We’re here to help. Contact a Henry + Horne audit professional with any questions.