US Firms Reveal Best Practices for Audit Efficiency

The AICPA's Journal of Accountancy has a feature in its September issue in which firms cited for their excellent quality controls share practice tips on how to improve audits while saving time and enhancing profits. There is probably something for most practicing accountants here, and many well-organized firms will find much familiar ground.

The first step towards audit efficiency is to manage and train clients. Auditors work best when clients provide them with the data they need. Many firms have different strategies for educating their clients about their needs, but most such strategies pay off.

As one might expect, retaining clients and staff can also increase audit efficiency. Firms found that greater familiarity with a practice area and a client enabled them to streamline their audit approaches and make the most of the time spent on each engagement.

Planning is critical to audit efficiency. The more effective firms actively seek out past inefficiencies and possible improvements, rather than letting the audit team repeat last year's errors!

The survey also found that correlating audit efforts to the levels of risk and materiality helped increase efficiency. Effective firms try to limit procedures in low-risk areas and focus their attention on trouble spots. Use of appropriate standard audit procedures and programs can aid staff training and discipline in this area.

You may like these other stories...

Steve Jobs. Sergey Brin. Mark Zuckerberg. Each of these individuals, and their companies, are celebrated as changing the face of the technology. They all followed a similar path to success: excelling at one thing and...
Read more articles by Sally Glick here.While reading a recent article titled, "Bondage to Busyness," by Alan Morinis, I was struck by his reminder regarding how stressed and pressured we all are today. Our...
To assist firm leaders in making key decisions for the future, BKR International, one of the top 10 global accounting associations. recently put together a list of the five priorities managing partners must address...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 18
In this course, Amber Setter will shine the light on different types of leadership behavior- an integral part of everyone's career.
Sep 24
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.
Sep 30
This webcast will include discussions of important issues in SSARS No. 19 and the current status of proposed changes by the Accounting and Review Services Committee in these statements.
Oct 23
Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.