Aaahhh… the annual financial statement audit… that exciting time that you, our clients look forward to every year, when your favorite team visits for a week, two, or more. Your staff gets to shift their focus from all the day-to-day work they have to do and spend time answering questions, providing access and information, and allowing us to complete our procedures to ultimately provide you with our opinion as to whether your financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in all material respects. Oh, wait… that’s maybe OUR perspective of the audit.
While all aspects of our lives have changed, for many of us, our work lives have been radically transformed. That said, our professional responsibilities have not changed. The professional standards that regulate our industry and our own firm’s commitment to the highest level of quality service have not changed, regardless of what is transpiring in the world around us. Fortunately, our significant investments in technology and education over the past few years have positioned us to transition to a fully remote audit process with relative ease. For example, the majority of you have been using our portal technology already, so your ability to share information with us is tested and proven.
In the current year, however, you might notice some differences in our approach due to the current environment that we all find ourselves in. There are certain procedures that we believe are most effective when performed “live.” Various inquiries about your activities throughout the year, interviews regarding the risk of fraud, etc. all lend themselves to personal interaction and we will still be conducting these procedures “live” even if we may not be able to be in the same room. Our teams are skilled at using video conferencing platforms and will try to engage with you in as “realistic” a way as possible. We have also developed strategies for overcoming certain remote auditing challenges, such as inventory and fixed asset physical observations. Some of these strategies may include the use of FaceTime or possibly drones. We have been proactive in guiding our teams and educating them on developing creative ways to overcome the limitations presented by the COVID-19 crisis and to provide you with the same high level of timely service you are accustomed to.
You will notice some other differences as well. We will be spending a significant amount of time talking with you about how, specifically, your business is impacted short and long-term by this economic shift. We will ask about your plans for facing the unique, and not-so-unique challenges you are facing – employment issues, liquidity concerns, market performance, revenue impact, supplier issues, etc.
Through it all, know that we are committed to serving you, our clients. We are able to be flexible to suit your daily schedule and technology constraints. We know you have families and business issues to address beyond your audit and we will work with you to develop the best possible, customized strategy for completing your annual audit timely and with minimal disruption.
We are ready and we look forward to continuing to work with you, so fire up that monitor and look for us to see you soon and often! We, too, long for the day when we can visit you in person again, but until then…
Lights! Camera! Audit!
The information and advice we are providing for this matter relates to COVID-19 legislative relief measures. Because legislative efforts are still ongoing, we expect that there may be additional guidance and clarification from regulators that could modify some of the advice and information provided to you, after the conclusion of our engagement. We therefore make no warranties, expressed or implied, on the services provided hereunder.