2020 is proving to be challenging in so many ways – for auditors, determining how to audit effectively while maintaining social distance, or in actual lockdown, is a particular challenge. Our customers are advising us that there are at least 3 things that are of concern for them right now:
- keeping a track of what audit evidence they request and get from their audit clients,
- how to effectively supervise junior auditors,
- making best use of all the experienced staff they might have at their disposal.
Of course, addressing these areas of concern while maintaining robust data security and relevant level access to the audit team, the client and any other stakeholders is also critical at this time.
1. Audit Evidence Requests & Receipt**
Keeping track of all the requests for information from clients has never been more critical if you can’t physically be on-site with them. The queries feature in Agile Audit is proving its worth in this regard for our clients using this new software.
- Using the Queries feature, you can request specific information from you client, totally within the CaseWare’s Agile Audit product (instead of using normal, less secure email products) with all the inbuilt data security encryption and features coming into play.
- Your client can provide documentation and responses via the dedicated portal, and this information is automatically populated into your engagement data files.
- At any time, you can keep a track of what has been provided to you and what is still outstanding.
- Audit team members can refer to the documentation and responses throughout the engagement file, and decide whether or not to retain it within the final lockdown version of the engagement.
2. Supervising Junior Auditors**
Effectively supervising and fully utilising junior auditors that might not have sufficient audit knowledge or experience, is another unique 2020 issue – graduate auditors who were hired this year, have spent barely any in-person time with their senior colleagues, and may not have even ventured out to a client site as yet. Therefore this busy season is already proving challenging for both them and their supervisors. This is where the Agile Audit and CaseWare Cloud team collaboration features like Issues, Annotations and Chat can be beneficial.
Putting together an audit plan is key to performing an effective audit – it sets expectations, provides direction and highlights key areas of concern and focus. This can be hard for a junior auditor to interpret though, so making use of Agile Audit’s annotation tool to electronically reference between checklists and supporting workpapers, and adding Review and To do points using Issues at the procedure, document or engagement file level, can provide that extra level of clarity and direction for juniors to complete their work.
Senior auditors can:
- set specific audit tasks and request any anomalies or concerns identified by the junior auditors to be flagged as an “Issue” for discussion or review
- easily reference the list of issues or look specifically for annotations and have a joint point of reference for review of the audit engagement and action items back to the team..
The team can stay in touch with each other and ask questions as they come up using the Chat feature in Cloud, which always displays who else is online.
3. Fully utilising all resources at your disposal**
The quality of remote auditing may be an issue for some teams, and scaling software access for extra staff resources has never been more easy or immediate. With a Cloud licence for Agile Audit, you can easily organise to mobilise retired or remote staff to participate as part of an audit team, as they can use any internet connectable device to supervise junior staff and become a key audit team member.
If you’re looking for audit software that needs to address these three concerns, Agile Audit could assist you. Contact us to discuss your unique requirements via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +61 3 9660 4680.
** All of the features mentioned in these industry challenges, are also available in our SMSF Audit solution.