Auditors Want to be Your Friend

  • By Liz Briggson
  • April 29th, 2022

Setting aside any stuffy conflict of interest concerns, have you ever thought that perhaps your auditors might genuinely want to work with you and help make your life better. It’s understandable, after pulling 135 invoices and responding to a constant barrage of audit-related questions, it might be hard to give your auditor the benefit of the doubt. But perhaps you should.

Recently, Nancy Wu, SkyStem’s Director of Sales and Customer Success led a one-hour webinar taking a look at the role auditors can play in helping the finance function.

Before you put your external auditor on speed dial, we’ll first suggest starting with opening the lines of communication to your internal audit team. 

Here are a few places Nancy suggests finance leaders and auditors can get started:

  1. Identify a problematic process and solve it together. Auditors, make yourself available to be a sounding board when finance team members are trying to solve a problem. Your keen (and kind) perspective might be just what they need to push through a game-changing process improvement project.
  2. Determine a new process or system and leverage internal audit’s knowledge of best practices in considering the design. 
  3. Schedule happy hour.

We’re somewhat kidding about #3. It’s important to maintain a healthy sense of separation between audit and the business. While audit should absolutely have a business partner mindset, they should not be tasked with decision-making or project responsibility. After all, you probably wouldn’t invite your new friend over for dinner and expect them to make dinner. Compliments to the chef, and all that. 

If you’re contemplating a good collaboration topic, consider automation. Grab a beverage, invite your finance/audit counterparts, and join Nancy Wu for an upcoming webinar on the topic. Then get to work mapping out how you will utilize automation in your organization. As they say, two minds work better than one.

  • Internal audit
  • process improvement
  • automation
  • finance
  • skystem
About the author
Liz Briggson
Liz Briggson

Liz is a licensed CPA in the state of Michigan and a member of the Encoursa team. Liz also provides business valuation consulting services and is actively involved in the Grand Rapids, MI business community through the Association for Corporate Growth.

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