Close out meetings are a critical part of the audit process. They require auditors and clients to get together once the audit fieldwork is complete to discuss how the audit went, relevant findings and action points.
They add value for both parties, as clients benefit from insights into areas of the business that can be improved, such as financial controls, and auditors can get feedback from the client on their audit findings. alongside whether the scope of the work agreed will likely remain the same for the following period.
Circit’s PBC Client Collaboration simplifies audit close out meetings by providing enhanced visibility into the audit, comprehensive reporting and seamless client collaboration.
Two of the most common issues that can get raised at a close out meeting are any overruns on the audit (such as potential missed deadlines) and also the outstanding list. PBC Client Collaboration can help with both of these.
Managing Client Expectations
Often, auditors are required to perform their audits in a short period of time, to allow clients to file their financial statements as early in the year as possible. This can be especially relevant for larger, or listed companies.
It can be a challenge to manage deadlines on these audits, and to ensure that all fieldwork is completed to a satisfactory level. Clients are trying to balance their own internal obligations, as well as ensuring that they are engaging with the auditor on their areas of responsibility. This can lead to delays with information being provided, and the auditor has to ensure they gather the required information needed to complete their work.
Circit’s PBC Client Collaboration provides detailed, insightful reporting to give the auditor an understanding of the time spent on each client, down to a query level. This data can be very helpful when discussing any overruns with clients, as the auditor can clearly identify if there were any delays as a result of the client not responding, or the client not meeting the agreed deadlines.
This data is also very helpful when planning for the following years engagement, as it allows the auditor to assign the correct amount of time for each audit section, and ensure that the resources are allocated to allow the job to be completed on time. It may also identify if there is a need to increase the time spent on the job, and as a result increase the fee. These conversations can be difficult to have with clients but will be made significantly easier with high quality data to support it.
PBC Client Collaboration provides a single and complete access point for sharing documents and collaborating with clients.
There is complete transparency between the auditor and the client as to the status of the audit queries at all times. This means that at the close out meeting, both are aligned on what needs to be completed prior to the singing of the financial statements.
At this point, it can also allow the client lead, for example the CFO or Finance Director, to ensure that any outstanding items are assigned to the correct person on their team, and that the deadlines are clearly set. If using a more traditional method of managing the PBC list, such as an excel spreadsheet or email , it can be very time consuming to manage the list. There are also often different versions that are being worked on, or emails are missed, leading to miscommunication between the client and the auditor.
Circit’s PBC Client Collaboration, allows for real time management of queries, and faster more efficient resolution, allowing the close out meeting to focus on the value added services of the auditor.
Stronger Client Relationships
When the auditor is able to prepare for the close out meeting with the clear and transparent information collated via Circit’s PBC Client Collaboration, it allows the meeting to focus on the value added services offered.
Using PBC Client Collaboration as a tool to assist with planning future engagements, and closing out the current year while in the close out meeting, is an efficient way to ensure that all issues are raised and resolved.
This leads to stronger client relationships, and an increased trust in the auditor, as the client has been fully engaged with the audit process, and is aware of any issues in advance of the meeting.
Having a close out meeting in person can be helpful to build on these relationships, and can provide a forum for more open conversation, versus doing it over email or call. Issues are more easily resolved this way, and it can provide an opportunity for the auditor to meet the wider finance team, which will help in future engagements.
Take A Deep Dive On PBC Client Collaboration
To learn more about how PBC Client Collaboration can streamline your audit close-out meetings find out more here.