In the world of audit, ensuring the accuracy and completeness of information provided by the entity (IPE) is crucial. As an auditor, you need to validate that the information your clients provide is reliable in order to properly comply with auditing standards. Traditionally, this is done by having clients provide screenshots of the parameters they used to generate the information they pull from a system. However, many clients forget to provide this evidence due to their unfamiliarity with auditing standards, leading to rejected files and wasted time.
When I was auditing in a Big4 firm, this caused a lot of rework and frustration with the client, and that’s why we built a feature in UpLink to help solve this perennial problem, making things easier for both auditors and their clients. We’ve discussed how software helps streamline audits before, and in this blog post we’ll dive into how auditors can use UpLink to ensure they always obtain evidence of completeness and accuracy of IPE while avoiding any unnecessary back-and-forth with the client.
1. Make it mandatory for clients to provide screenshots in your requests
UpLink allows auditors to require a screenshot when making specific requests. This means that your clients cannot submit files without providing evidence of completeness and accuracy. By making screenshots mandatory, you eliminate the risk of receiving incomplete or inaccurate information that could cause issues during an internal or external review of your work papers.
To make this happen in UpLink, simply create a new request and select the "Require Screenshots" option. This will prompt your client to attach a screenshot before they can submit their response.
2. Educate your clients about auditing standards and why this evidence is necessary
Communication is key when it comes to ensuring that your client provides complete and accurate IPE. Take the time to educate them about this particular auditing requirement and explain why providing screenshots is crucial for you to accept the data they provide. This will help them to know why you’re requiring this information from them, and helps guide them with what kind of information to provide.
3. Encourage clients to use UpLink's screen recording feature
In addition to requiring screenshots, UpLink offers a built-in screen recording tool that further simplifies the process for your clients. This feature allows them to record their screen as they generate the information you need, which can be even more useful and reliable than a screenshot. It’s very simple to use and doesn’t require any additional software. By default, the client will see this option for any requests you’ve turned on the “require screenshots” option.
To encourage your clients to use this feature, mention it to them in a conversation or the description of the request.. Highlight the benefits of using screen recordings, such as reducing the risk of errors and providing a more comprehensive view of their data-generating process.
4. Set up reminders and notifications to help clients stay on track
One of the main reasons clients forget to provide evidence of completeness and accuracy is because they're often juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities. UpLink's automated reminder system can help keep them on track by sending notifications about upcoming deadlines and incomplete submissions.
By setting up reminders in UpLink, you help ensure that your clients don't miss any deadlines in providing you with complete and accurate IPE. This not only saves time but also helps maintain a positive working relationship between you and your client.
5. Review submitted IPE promptly and communicate any issues
Once your client submits their IPE, it's crucial to review it promptly and ensure that it meets your requirements. If you notice any issues or inconsistencies, communicate them to your client right away through UpLink's messaging system.
Addressing concerns quickly prevents delays in the audit and helps maintain trust between you and your client. By providing feedback through UpLink, you can work together to resolve any issues efficiently and ensure that their IPE is complete and accurate moving forward.
Ultimately, UpLink's features are purpose built to streamline the process of obtaining complete and accurate IPE from your clients. By making screenshots mandatory, educating your clients about auditing standards, encouraging screen recording, setting up reminders, and promptly reviewing submissions, you're well on your way to a smooth and successful audit.