Even though you know the audit isn’t something you can avoid, it can sneak up on you without warning. The year-end audit will put an extra burden on your accountants. Every department in your organization will also struggle to bring the necessary reports together at this time. Fortunately, creating a strategy for preparing for the audit can make this process go more smoothly.

Prepare Throughout the Year
You should start thinking about the next year’s audit in January to ensure there will be less confusion at the end of the year. Plan to balance your records every 30 days. Monthly balancing of your books will help you resolve discrepancies sooner. In addition to keeping your records more accurate across the ensuing 12 months, you’ll ease the burden on the accountants performing your annual audit. Fewer backlogged problems will help your accountants complete the audit faster.

Use Accounting Software
If you haven’t already installed high-quality accounting software on your computers, this is the best time to explore your options. Look for an application that will back your data up in a cloud storage account. Some benefits of accounting software include tracking assets from the raw materials to the finished product and identifying who made specific transactions. These abilities will give you tighter control over your business’ income and expenses. A good software package will also help your accountants work more efficiently throughout the year, so an audit will be less challenging.

Get an Early Start
Your strategy for an annual audit should include setting a time frame for getting this task done on time. Rather than waiting too long and forcing your accounting team to work under pressure, plan to start the process sooner. As soon as the final numbers for the year are available, your accountants should be given the reports they need to perform the audit. If you are using state-of-the-art accounting technology, these reports can be available much sooner. 

While the annual audit will never be a pleasant experience, you can make it less stressful for everyone. If you’re unsure about what else you can do to ease this situation for your team, ask them for ideas. Together, you can create a better strategy for completing the annual audit efficiently and quickly.