Understanding the audit readiness of an organization, is to have the ability to identify the auditory requirements that need to be in place from an infrastructure or back-end perspective, to the preparation needed to take place from a financial reporting perspective.
Auditory requirements for an audit may include:
- Risk management
- Information technology – environment
- Financial reporting
- The financial close process
Each of these areas may pose a significant risk to the successful execution of an audit, if not taken into consideration as an overall ‘audit requirements’ set. These particular elements for an audit are routinely overlooked or underestimated by executives and management, along with their various teams. Executives and management who need to lead these teams, rather focus on gaining the competitive edge in their industry, then at the most basic level, tend to lack the understanding and knowledge required to consult, and therefore, prepare and achieve the readiness required. Executives and management should rather turn to industry consultants for support and guidance while they focus on ‘business’ success. Turning to a professional consulting firm from the beginning, can lead to a successful audit along with reduced overhead costs while undergoing the audit itself.
The time required to prepare
In most cases, the effort and time required to readily prepare for an audit are frequently misconceived once timelines are set, or more often than not, underestimated. While each organization’s timelines may vary depending on the unique business requirements, it can typically take from 6 to 18 months to achieve readiness.
The key milestones in the readiness process should include:
- An overall readiness assessment
- A compliance assessment
- A financial reporting assessment
- IT infrastructure/systems and data assessment
- Corporate governance assessment
- Any other specific to-the-business requirements needing to be included in the assessments’
IT and data assessments – the most time consuming
Global Shield IS, considers all the key milestones to be relevant, and important to include in the timeline. Among these milestones, most notably, IT infrastructure, systems and data assessments usually require a considerable amount of time to execute. Furthermore, specific to timelines, audit related engagements from Global Shield IS are managed professionally and supervised to ensure quality and utilize industry specific audit processes.
The timelines and processes of preparing for the IT and data specific assessments should provide any organization with a clearer understanding of their business operations, on how to perform more efficiently and effectively going forward.
Please note: These guidelines from Global Shield IS, are for an organization’s general information purposes only. It is not intended to advise or give any legal or business analysis. Global Shield IS, rather offers the services to any business who have further questions related to their uncommon or unique circumstances, to contact the office for further council. We will then assign the most appropriate adviser to address each question specifically.