The truth of the matter is that you can manage some deadlines and others you cannot. We understand this and will help you maintain your compliance.
Around the globe, people are finding themselves transitioning their jobs to remote environments, and accountants are no exception. Fortunately, auditors have been the poster child of remote working as we are used to operating in a space other than our home office. Because of this, we want to assure you that we are entirely operational remotely. Our dedicated team is equipped with the technology and experience to make sure we perform our client audits in a professional, efficient and effective manner. The time to plan for your audit is now, and we will support you every step of the way.
We have heard from state government agencies, lenders and stakeholders that they are working with companies and allowing a reasonable delay in deadlines. You should be contacting your funding sources, lenders and other stakeholders now to validate the deadline for your compliance deliverables and determine how much leeway you have in completing the audit. Planning is key in this endeavor. Additionally, if you have covenants/other debt compliance requirements, speak with your banker to determine if there is any flexibility in these unusual times.
The following are some tools to help you navigate through the New Normal:
As we adjust to this new normal, challenges arise due to the nature of this shift in technique and the way clients provide us with all the necessary information. The availability and security of data are of the utmost importance to our clients and us. Secure file storage and sharing systems such as Box ensure the security and safety of data. Sharing your documents through a secure medium is the best practice of data security. Therefore, when working remotely, refrain from sending emails if you can organize and send data electronically.
What can you do if you’re generally “offline”?
There are a few ways to share paper documents if everything is not readily e-available.
Withum implemented new technology, the Withum Experience, that catalogs information and helps organize, track and keep a real-time interface with you on where we stand. This process helps alleviate the confusion of “I haven’t seen them for a while, I wonder what they are up to” and keeps you informed of filed and open data requests.
When office meetings are no longer an option, other means of communication is key. Maintaining a strict, yet realistic, schedule of video chats and phone calls will make all the difference in your auditing experience. Utilizing tools like Microsoft Teams or other video conferencing software offer remote communication solutions to collaborate still and move projects forward effectively within your organization and with your auditors. Teams also offers file sharing, scheduling and a variety of other applications that integrate within its interface. All of which help you be as efficient as possible when working remotely. Having this internal collaboration allows you to keep things moving on your end, which in turn enables you to have the necessary information ready and on-hand during a remote audit.
A well planned remote audit should consist of a timeline that is stringent enough to complete a comprehensive and timely audit, yet flexible enough to accommodate any changes in your daily life.
There are five elements to be mindful of when going through a remote audit:
On top of regular auditing protocols, the circumstances around the coronavirus outbreak call for some extra planning for audits this year.
Are you financially at risk? Here are some financial statement risks resulting from COVID-19 of which you should be aware:
For the foreseeable future, working from home is the new normal. Investing in remote technology upfront allows for a smooth transition to working from home. While proper planning is always the goal, at times, it isn’t the main focus of business, and organizations might find themselves trying to navigate how to set up their people to work from home. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when creating a remote work environment:
Do you have Office 365? Take a look at all of the products and apps included that can help you streamline productivity— like Project Planner— even from home.
Withum is here to help. We understand that these times are trying, unpredictable and unprecedented. Whether looking to make your remote work experience more productive and collaborative or finding a way to complete your audit smoother and more securely, our experts can offer solutions that make business feel as normal as possible in this current environment.