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How can you be ready for a successful audit? Make it remote

Since the British Government announced the nation-wide lockdown across the UK on the 23rd March, everyone at BHP had to quickly adapt to a new way of life. Whilst I don’t think any of us could have predicted that we would all be working from this year, our new normal is something we immediately settled in to.

During an intense few weeks, our IT Team worked quickly to build remote desktops and ensure every member of the team was well equipped to work from home. This, along with our investment in specific technologies over the last 18 months, has meant that despite the circumstances, we have been able to continue to provide our clients with the high level of service they expect from us.

Our partnership with Inflo Software has meant we have been able to continue with our normal audit processes whilst working remotely. The clever client collaboration portal has allowed us to gather audit information and track audit progress. The transparency for both us and the client team has meant that we have been able to keep calm and carry on.

A year end audit can be a stressful experience for a lot of entities and their finance teams, without being forced to work remotely. However, we were determined this wouldn’t be the case for our clients.

Client collaboration has been key and despite working remotely we have used our ability to use Inflo to ingest the accounting system data, mine 100% of transactions throughout the year and run a suite of analytical tests over the data to ensure we delivered high quality audit to our clients. Running the analytics and providing our clients with management insights over their finance function has also proved invaluable throughout this time.

Working remotely is a completely new concept for many of our client so here are our top 5 tips for a successful audit:

  1. Communication is key – an open line of communication is even more vital whilst working remotely
  2. Clear timescales – setting out clear plans and realistic deadlines at the beginning of a project (whether that be an audit or not) is key for managing expectations on both sides
  3. Project management – an audit can often be like a mini project so having transparency of progress is important for both parties
  4. Compassion – we’re living in strange times and this is a very new normal that we are all trying to get used to so a little bit of patience and understanding goes a long way
  5. Try and have some fun with it – a happy team is a more productive team. We’ve been opening up Zoom coffee rooms over lunchtime so our colleagues can get together for a coffee and have some interaction, we’ve been running Friday evening virtual quizzes and making sure our teams are connected through the use of Microsoft Teams

It’s a trying time for all of us at the moment, if you feel you could benefit from any of our assistance during this time or would like to discuss how we are working remotely, please feel free to get in touch.