While most organizations have set their 2024 goals and objectives, accounting teams are still stuck in 2023 closing the books and spending their valuable time preparing for the upcoming audit.
If your audit is coming up, unless you are an audit specialist, right now can be an overwhelming and time-consuming part of year.
How Audits Have Changed with Remote Working
In the past, to prepare for your audit you would ensure your books were finalized and organized, compile your documents together, and hold your breath until it was over. However, with most companies operating in a remote or hybrid remote environment, preparing for an audit has become more challenging.
Challenges that arise with audits when working with a remote or partially remote workforce include:
- Inability to easily provide requested information and documents
- Extended audit time
- Increased audit fees
- No visibility into documents currently being processed
- No audit trail of documents
- Incorrect data entry of financials
Since COVID, many companies have moved to a remote or hybrid environment, complicating the traditional audit process. While many accounting teams have put further automation in place, many still struggle to tap into automation’s full potential- including the simplification of the audit.
How AP Automation Positively Impacts Your Annual Audit
While there are many benefits to automating your AP processes, companies that have an AP automation platform in place are dramatically improving their audit experience.
1. Instant Access to Information
With an AP automation solution, pulling together the documents and information you need to provide to auditors takes seconds. Regardless of whether you are working from home or in the office, you will have instant access to the information you need and can download and send it out to them immediately. Auditors can even be provided with temporary access to your system to recover the documents they need, without disrupting your workday. This simplifies the process for your team and auditors, lessening their stress and putting you in a better light.
2. Decreased Audit Time
By being able to provide requested information to auditors immediately, your audit time will be drastically reduced. What used to take days, or even weeks, sifting through papers, is reduced to hours or minutes to verify stored information. You won’t have to worry about spending time looking for information or asking your team about where things are.
3. Reduce the Risk of Fraud
When operating in an automated environment, you can set up controls, checks, and balances to enforce procedures to reduce and eliminate fraud. An AP automation solution allows you to ensure that sensitive information is only accessible to those with proper permissions and enforce standard operating procedures and compliance.
4. Reduced Errors in Financials
An AP automation solution allows you to eliminate data entry into your accounting system, eliminate the processing and payment of duplicate invoices, and validate data to ensure accuracy. You will spend less time preparing for your audit with confidence knowing that your financials are consistently processed accurately and completely.
5. Visibility into Audit History
Using an AP automation platform that has a document management system provides you with visibility into the entire audit history of each document, any decision that was made, who made that decision, why they made it, and when they made that decision. This means you can quickly retrieve and submit additional information to your auditors when requested.
6. Increased Relationship with Auditors
Having an automated AP solution not only makes your life easier, but also your auditors! Gone are the days of processing in a paper environment. Auditors are using automation and tools of their own to make it easier, so having your own solution in place helps expedite this process even further, resulting in happy auditors!
Take Audits to the Next Level
As new tools and technologies continue to improve how businesses operate, audits can become more efficient and insightful. Using an AP automation platform empowers you to always be audit ready. No more searching for information or spending unnecessary time and resources on your financial audit. That means...
- Lower audit fees
- More productive audit
- Reduced time spent on your audit
- Improved relationship with your audit team
Go from viewing your audit as an overwhelming experience, to an opportunity to learn where else you can improve your business financials.
Are you prepared for your next audit?
It's time to use technology to make audits flow smoother! Get a complimentary process evaluation with an automation expert today to get started.