Introduction to this document

Audit preparation schedule

One of your busiest times will be the annual audit. Good preparation for the auditors makes a big difference to the time they take and the amount of disruption suffered by the finance team and the company’s management. As audit fees usually depend on the time spent, anything you can do to help the auditors be more time-efficient should reduce the fee they charge.

Audit file

Agreeing in advance a realistic and detailed audit timetable, that you and the auditors can both commit to, can help keep the lid on costs. The timetable should allow sufficient time for you to have finalised the trial balance before the auditors arrive. It can be very expensive for them to audit a “moving target”.

At the pre-audit meeting ask them to supply you with a detailed schedule of the information they will require during the forthcoming audit. Before they arrive use our Audit Preparation Schedule to, amongst other things, compile an audit file containing copies of all relevant documents and information to save time.

Electronic back up file

Most of the information auditors seek can be obtained by them restoring a back-up copy of your accounts files onto their own version of your accounting software.

However, there is still information on our audit preparation schedule that this time saving approach will not yield. For example, fixed asset register, copies of valuations, price lists, stock sheets from a physical count, analysis of bad and doubtful debts, copies of invoices used for accruals and prepayments calculations, etc. So there are still things that will need to be ready for them in the audit file.