6 tips on how to reduce the number of audit queries raised by your SMSF Auditor
Below are some tips to help you reduce audit queries across the board, which in turn will create greater efficiencies internally and improve turnaround times with your clients.
1. Give your Auditor access to your SMSF Software
If there are missing reports within the financial statements, your Auditor would not have to request these from you. They can simply obtain them directly from the SMSF software if they are granted access to it.
2. Follow a checklist
Having a checklist completed prior to sending a fund to audit will give you a chance to double check you have provided everything that is required for your Auditor to complete it.
This should decrease the number of document related queries you may be receiving.
3. Ensure all assets are valued at the current market value
If all assets are not valued at the current market value, your Auditor will most likely query why this has not occurred. To avoid this from being queried, ensure all assets are revalued prior to the fund being sent to audit.
If a new valuation has not been obtained, you will be required to provide objective and supportive data to justify why a new valuation is not required to be completed. Do not simply provide last years valuation without any explanation or supporting evidence as to why this has been used! This will result in a query being raised by your Auditor.
4. Prepare workpapers
Do not simply prepare a set of financial statements and provide your Auditor with all the fund’s source documents in a format that is not easy to follow.
Create specific SMSF workpapers that will allow your Auditor to easily navigate through the SMSF’s source documents and find what they are looking for.
5. Follow last year’s audit advice
Each year your Auditor will provide you with an Audit Report as well as a Management Letter, Section 129 Notice and Auditor’s Contravention Report in some circumstances.
Ensure you take the time to sit down with the trustees and follow your Auditor’s recommendations. This will ensure the same reminders are not provided in the following year. In some circumstances, failing to follow your Auditor’s advice can result in an Auditor’s Contravention being issued so make sure you stay on top of this!
6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
We all have that one fund no one in the office wants to work on because of the problems that come up each year.
Rather than simply processing the fund and sending it to audit, give your Auditor a call and ask questions before sending it through.
This will give you the chance to ensure you are across what the Auditor requires as well as discuss any potential compliance breaches you may think the fund has.
All these tips will put your firm in a great position to ensure you are communicating with your Auditor in the best possible manner and avoiding unnecessary back and forth.
Content and references are the author’s own work and may not reflect the views of A Country Practice Accountants Group.
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