Payroll Auditing: Using a Pre-Audit Questionnaire

To prepare for the payroll audit, a brief list of questions may be e-mailed, faxed, or mailed to the employer. The auditor usually informs the employer when scheduling the audit and requests that the employer e-mail or fax back the completed questionnaire. This pre-audit questionnaire contains questions that would be common for any audit, such as: how many people are on the payroll, and has the same person been preparing the remittance reports for the entire audit period.

The pre-audit questionnaire becomes a very useful tool in helping the payroll auditor plan the audit when simple yet specific questions relating to the fund’s rules are asked (e.g., When do contributions begin for new employees?). For example, if contributions are due from the date of hire and the employer answers “after thirty days” on the questionnaire, the auditor already knows where a problem exists. Questions dealing with vacations, holiday pay, overtime, and capping hours can help the auditor pinpoint the potential problem areas before going out into the field.

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